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THE CLASS OF 2020: Yi Lam (Christy) Cheng

Yi Lam (Christy) Cheng

University of Guelph

My practice is focused on experimentational process-based methods of generating abstraction through haphazard chemical reactions and non-traditional methods of printmaking. My interest in creating erratic and uncontrollable marks also plays an important role within my works. My recent body of work began with a series of experiments I devised to expose light-sensitive printmaking plates using untraditional methods. I experimented with different counteractive treatments and chemical reactions to produce unique and abstract images. “Chemical Reaction” is a triptych composed of “Fire I,” “Fire II,” and “Patina,” in which, I am investigating the viability of different materials and chemical reactions to create abstract patterns. “Fire I” and “Fire II” are printed with burnt polymer intaglio plates, the light-sensitive polymer layer is exposed using open flame rather than a traditional UV exposure unit, causing the polymer to crack and buckle. To produce “Patina,” I coated copper plates with salt and ammonia. These three substances react to one another, creating a layer of patina on the surface of the copper plates. Without applying any ink, the green patina is printed directly onto dampened paper using an intaglio press, a slightly rough texture of the salt residue is also embossed onto the paper when printed. By doing so, I move away from the traditional printing techniques and allow chance, haphazardness and chemical reaction to take over in order to create unpredictable marks, patterns and imprints. Working with various materials, I aim to investigate many possibilities of printmaking by creating new techniques for exploring the relationship between matrix and impression through print media.

Yi Lam_ChristyCheng - Chemical Reaction.jpg :

Series Title: Chemical Reaction (left to right: Fire I, Patina, Fire II)

Yi Lam_ChristyCheng - Fire I.jpg :

Fire I

Burnt Polymer Plates, printed on White BFK Rives

22 in x 30 in


Yi Lam_ChristyCheng - Patina.jpg :


Patina printed on White BFK Rives

30 in x 22in


Yi Lam_ChristyCheng - Fire II.jpg :

Fire II

Burnt Polymer Plates, printed on White BFK Rives

22 in x 30 in


Yi Lam_Christy Cheng - installation shot.jpg :

Installation shot at the Printmaking IV exhibition (2020) - Repeat Yourself at the boarding house gallery in Guelph


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