City Shaped: In conversation with Lia Forslund
“It did not take long before my friendship with Tom Chung was established. When we met at an exhibition opening, we arranged to meet in his studio the next day and I felt completely at ease—so much so that I felt I had known him for a long time. I was new to the city and Tom Chung was the perfect welcoming ambassador. It was not strange that our friendship developed so quickly. Chung is part of a generational shift, fostering a young network of creative people in Toronto that utilize the cities tapestry to cross-pollinate and create new constellations of collaborative designers, photographers and artists. Another reason is that Chung is enormously convivial. As a designer, he is practical and economic, however, it is within his contextual sensitivity that makes his work both distinct and rooted.
Being authentic in the realms of existential philosophy, in other words, denoting a significant, purposive and responsible approach is a good introduction to understanding the works of Chung. He calls the design economic and sometimes raw, but it is his emotional appropriateness that makes his pieces stand out. Born in Vancouver to Chinese-Zimbabwean and Malaysian immigrants, Chung started his design life making skateboard ramps, before working as an architectural model builder eventually adopting a language of industrial design as the best way of expressing his ideas.
Chung’s studio, on Dundas Street West, is an immediately inviting retail space. It makes sense, even if he spends most days alone in the studio, the space is clean and bathing in warm sunlight. Chung’s world is made up of creating designs that speak to the city, through using what the city has to offer. During a cold November day, I paid him a visit to talk about what it means to be a designer, about the process and what it takes to resolve a localized idea.”
100 Colour Copies
80 pages, 8.5" x 11"
Interview by Lia Forslund.
Photography by Tom Chung.
Additional Photography by
Anh Dao, Alex Nelson.
Graphic Design by Andy Chung.
Local Source as a free PDF