The acquisition by Newcastle Art Gallery was centred on two photographic works by Leong titled Aura and Invisible Light.
Paired together, these two works explore Eastern and Western beliefs and understandings around healing and the body.
Aura is inspired by an 18th century Western engraving of the blood circulatory system. It visualises the human circulatory system as an external shadow cut from black leather.
Invisible Light is based on a Chinese map of the energy meridians of the body. It is cut from white leather and worn like a second skin. Informed by Eastern philosophies of the body, this work visualises the energy channels that transport life force or Qi throughout the body.
Owen’s work has also entered the University of Salford in Manchester, United Kingdom.
The University of Salford’s unique collection of Chinese Contemporary Art has been developed mainly since 2013 and largely in partnership with the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) in Manchester. In October 2013 the University of Salford signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), based in Manchester. For over 30 years CFCCA has curated and presented ‘first’ UK solo exhibitions featuring exceptional artists that go on to achieve international acclaim. As part of this program, Owen Leong presented a solo exhibition titled Ghost Heart in 2006. His photographic work Hole, now forms part of the University of Salford’s art collection.