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 Michael de Meng  

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Lived/Active: British Columbia      Known for: Sculpture

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Michael de Meng
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Brumfield LLC:
While most artists tend towards privacy and secrecy when discussing their techniques, de Meng couldn’t be more open about his artistic process.  The artist is not only unguarded about discussing how and with what he makes his assemblages, de Meng has begun to teach workshops over the past few years.  Students learn the very same processes that de Meng utilizes to create their own works of art from scraps and junkyard finds.  Indeed, de Meng utilizes teaching to his advantage.

Though he admits balancing the two careers can be difficult at times, the demands of each career keep one another in check.  De Meng’s career has also taken him along the path of writing.  Now the author of two books, Secrets of Rusty Things: Transforming Found Objects into Art and Dusty Diablos: Folklore, Iconography, Assemblage, Ole!, de Meng sees writing, like teaching, as another outlet for his thoughts and creativity.

A long time assemblage artist, de Meng utilizes discarded items for his shrine-like works and creatures, such as scrap metal, old appliances, or miscellaneous objects that would typically be considered “junk.”  The idea behinds these works is transformation; de Meng seeks to alter pieces that would normally be rejected into works of art and reverence.  By borrowing imagery from shrines and relics around the world, de Meng’s work transforms this “junk” into pieces of beauty and meaning.  De Meng describes his works as, “a form of rebirth from the ashes into new life and new meaning.  These assemblages are metaphors for the evolutions and revolutions of existence…the forms are examinations of the world in perpetual flux, where meaning and function are ever-changing.”  While de Meng’s initial purpose is to simply find order in a world of chaos, the results are pieces that have taken on a new life, developed from their former selves.

Artist's statement:

My work is about transformations.  It is about the transformation of the common into the sacred.  Discarded materials find new and unexpected uses in my work; they are reassembled and conjoined with unlikely components, a form of rebirth from the ashes into new life and new meaning.   These assemblages are metaphors for the evolutions and revolutions of existence:  from life to death to rebirth, from new to old to renewed, from construction to destruction to reconstruction.  These forms are examinations of the world in perpetual flux, where meaning and function are ever changing.

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