Gordon Cheung

Gordon Cheung is a contemporary multi-media artist from London in the UK. He creates fantastic, strange and colourful mixed-media artworks that blur virtual and actual reality. Cheung uses unusual materials on his landscape paintings such as sand, fabric, sail cloth, newspaper and acrylic gels.

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Gordon Cheung tree landscape painting spray paint

Gordon Cheung is a British born, Chinese artist living and working in London. He was born in 1975 and is famous for his incredibly vibrant, detailed and textured paintings and artworks that use cutting edge technology to blur the line between reality and virtual reality.

Gordon Cheung’s modern paintings look otherworldly and often depict strange, surreal and fantastical landscapes with bright areas of colour. His landscape paintings usually show elements that we can recognise such as mountains, architectural features, text or buildings, but he experiments with unusual materials to make them look unfamiliar. Which materials do you think Cheung has used in the painting below?

Gordon Cheung Landscape painting mixed-media

Top facts about artist Gordon Cheung:

  • Gordon Cheung in a multimedia artist who creates paintings, sculptures, prints and NFT artworks
  • Cheung was born in London to Chinese parents in 1975
  • He lives and works in London, UK
  • Cheung graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting in 1998 from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
  • He earned his Masters of Fine Arts in 2001 from the Royal College of Art
  • Cheung has exhibited his artwork around the world, including New York and London
  • Museums around the world have bought his artworks, including the MOMA in New York
  • Cheung uses new technologies such as virtual reality, to help create his artwork
  • Talking about his artwork, Cheung says ‘We perceive the world through mythologies and stories – fictional realities.’

Cheung’s landscape paintings often have a simple composition, with one main focal point that stands out. However, he uses a complex range of materials and builds his paintings up in layers.

Cheung often uses simple compositional arrangements in his landscape paintings. In the painting below, there are four basic sections (the sky, the mountains, the land and the small details near the front) – how do you think using a simple composition creates a sense of balance in his paintings? Although we recognise all of the features in his landscape paintings, they don’t look realistic because of the highly saturated, almost toxic colours. This means we could describe his artwork as surreal. Can you think of 5 other descriptive words?

Gordon Cheung uses colour effectively in his paintings. Cool blues are used against warm reds, oranges and pinks to help draw the viewer’s eye to certain parts of the painting and make elements stand out. Why does the flower at the bottom of the painting above stand out against the background?


Gordon Cheung uses lots of different materials in his work, giving his paintings a tactile, layered quality. In the sky on the painting above, we can see square and rectangle shapes that have all been painted over. The background is a collage made up of newspaper cuttings from financial stocks and shares data, do you think that by adding symbolic elements, Cheung could be trying to share a message through his artwork? As well as newspapers, Cheung paints with spray paints, sand and acrylic – each of which gives him scope to create a range of different textures.

Look at the artwork by Gordon Cheung below, how has he used scale and colour to create a sense of perspective? The mountains are a pale yellow and orange, shrouded in a light mist. The bridge on the right hand side is smaller in the distance then gets bigger towards the front, and the tree trunk on the left is highly detailed and much bigger than the mountains. This gives the impression that the painting has a lot of depth, and moves off into the distance. The colours at the front of the painting are also brighter, and the details on the green land are clearer to see.

Gordon Cheung is famous for his rich, detailed and highly textured paintings which have features and elements that look almost recognisable. He uses bright, vivid colours and different media to add a range of surfaces. He paints onto different backgrounds such as newsprint and sand to create his sci-fi style artworks, some of which look like they have come straight from a video game!

Watch the short clip below to find out how Cheung creates his textures and effects in his paintings:

How to create artwork like Gordon Cheung:

Here are the materials I would suggest to use to create paintings like Gordon Cheung. Spray paint alternatives (such as diffusers) can still give the same effect if used properly.

As well as contemporary landscape paintings, Cheung creates portraits and has a series of paintings inspired by natural forms such as plants and flowers.

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What do you think of Gordon Cheung’s artwork? How could you describe it? Which is your favourite piece and why? Let me know in the comments!


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