Skip To Main Content
No post to display.
Sammy Chong: Removed; Student Exhibit Open February 9

Sammy Chong was working as a graphic artist when a near-fatal car accident moved him into a whole new way of expressing himself as he became more aware of larger transcendental issues. 

“We are not beings in a vacuum, but rather in environments and ecosystems we share with other human beings and living creatures,” Chong writes in his art statement. 

Sammy Chong: Removed will be exhibited in the Sue and Eugene Mercy Jr. Gallery of the Richmond Art Center from February 9 to April 11, running concurrently with exhibits of student work in the Barnes and Wilde galleries. An opening for the shows will take place on February 9 is from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.  

Mr. Chong, whose work primarily is in drawing and painting, will not be able to attend the opening, but he will be on campus April 3-7 as a Visiting Artist.  

According to Mr. Chong, the work in the exhibit is “the result of an inner necessity to make sense of the displacement many groups of people and animals are experiencing now. They have been removed from their homes because of human agency.” 

A first-generation Ecuadorian from Guayaquil who comes from a large artistic family of Chinese descent, Mr. Chong says his paintings are inspired by his experiences as an immigrant: “In the USA, immigrants contribute to the American economy in a variety of underrated ways. Many perform humble but necessary jobs, yet society insists on not seeing them at all.” 

He set about to, as he says, making visible those who are invisible. His work also delves into the global problem of animals facing extinction.  

“The uncanny aspect of the collection,” he writes, “comes in the reversal of roles as endangered animals take human shape and are empowered as the dominant species in a hierarchical fictional reality.”  

It is fitting that Mr. Chong’s work is on exhibit in the Mercy Gallery this year, when empathy is Loomis Chaffee’s theme.  

Visual arts teacher christian.ryan, the director of the Mercy Gallery, had seen Mr. Chong’s work and thought it fit well into the department’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) goals. They said it is important “to select artists who typically and historically have not shown as much and whose voices need to be amplified ... but also the work is really good. I always want work that the students will be excited about and interested in.”  

Showing in conjunction with Mr. Chong’s exhibit are the 2023 Loomis Chaffee Portrait Gallery and other featured student artwork in digital and traditional media. 

“The big fall project is to take portraits of two others on campus, and that project also has some DEIJ themes to it,” christian said. “[One] of the parameters is that students must celebrate the diverse population of our student body, so every year the winter show highlights the photo gallery. It is a great way to showcase our students.”  





More News & Stories

Check out the latest Loomis Chaffee news.