“In Visible”—an artist’s perspective of the universe

“Calculations” is one of more than 20 works by Adam Fung hanging in the Fermilab Art Gallery until Jan. 20.

One night when artist Adam Fung was hiking among the red terrain in Utah, he looked up and saw the night sky untainted by city lights. The bright band of the Milky Way galaxy, the colorful stars too many to count and all the darkness in between gave Fung a new inspiration for his work.

Fung has spent most of his career capturing different landscapes around the world, including icebergs in Antarctica and snow-capped volcanoes along the western United States coast. However, for the past few years he has changed his focus from Earth to outer space and the mysteries of the universe.

Fermilab’s Art Gallery will host some of Fung’s newest space-related art from Nov. 12 through Jan. 20 on the second-floor crossover in Wilson Hall. The exhibit, “In Visible,” will feature a number of drawings and paintings that Fung hopes will build a connection between art and science for the audience.

Many of Fung’s works feature geometric shapes over a starry background. Fung gets his ideas for the backgrounds looking at images on NASA’s website, and for the foregrounds he draws on his own beliefs of how art should represent the many dimensions scientists study.

“When I started thinking about the universe it didn’t make sense to me that we would map that in just one quadrant or square,” Fung said. “So, I started making other geometric forms, and those forms become layered on each other in my work.”

The mysterious dark matter that permeates the universe was a particular inspiration for Fung.

“I began researching dark matter,” Fung said. “It’s this unseen component that’s a vital part of our universe, and I saw a parallel in the actual work I do during the process of making an image.”

Fung’s work contains textures and patterns that are, at first, indistinguishable from one another. However, upon closer inspection, the viewer can see the various layers Fung used to bring everything together. Fung sees dark matter similarly: It’s invisible to anyone simply looking at the sky, yet it is believed to be prevalent throughout the universe.

An artist reception will take place on Friday, Nov. 16, from 5 to 7 p.m. For further information about Adam Fung and his art, visit his website.

Jessica Orwig