Ursula Kam-Ling Cheng

Residency Period March – April 2017


Ursula Kam-Ling Cheng is a Chinese & Northern-Irish born, Scottish based illustrator and mixed media artist. Broad influences for her work come from street art, folkloric tales, relics, religious artwork, architecture and Asian cartoons, all colliding in two-dimensional line works that present a conversation on the hyper-real future, social ideals and expectations of the female individual.

In an age of digital culture and information overload, Kam-Ling Cheng’s work to seeks to harness the power of the restless, hyperactive mind. Travel sketchbooks and personal diaries play an important role in Kam Ling Cheng’s image making process, with an ongoing pursuit to find innovative ways to depict her experiences through her playful use of colour and distinct illustrative style. Fantasy, surreal realities and dreamy nostalgia absorb into her intricate and riotous ink drawings. Empowered contoured females and warriors take centre focus in these abundant landscapes.

During her residency Kam Ling Cheng proposed to visually narrate two intertwining roots; ancient historic accounts and personal stories from the artist’s mixed heritage and evolve them in to a mural artwork. The title of the project Cloud sutra was taken from a fabricated document commissioned by a monk Empress Wu Zetian (750 BC) proclaiming herself as a female deity and rightful heir. Her epic ascension came from eliminating everyone around her, ruthlessly cutting limbs off and killing babies. However this empowered female figure was able to innovate, implement effective social changes, promote Buddhist spiritual well-being and campaigning to elevate the position of women throughout the Empire.