polyurethane cast, a glowing material that would fit right
into a Jurassic Park set.
“It looks like a solid piece of amber that has a bug preserved in it for a billion years,” Cheng says. “But it’s not;
it’s lodged into a negative space there.” The effect is that
of a niche of concrete art in relief. Those translucent apertures contrast with completely transparent ones, like the
eye-shaped cut made into the concrete wall that encloses
the kitchen — “so he can keep an eye on the kids,” Cheng
says, not entirely joking. Playfulness abounds: in the main
bathroom, the sink isn’t just a sink; it’s “a lightweight fiber-reinforced [piece of] concrete that is sculpted and molded”
and produced in Cheng’s shop.
Why this love for concrete? “In the 19th century, concrete was considered this miracle liquid stone,” Cheng says.
His reverence for the different forms the material can take
comes through in conversation, and his interest in a material that can change texture, strength and appearance
makes sense in context of the rest of his interests.
“I have references to Scarpa, and in my own art back-
ground, to organic geological things,” he says. “I’ve merged
them to create a tableaux.”
It’s an approach to the world that puts the first wide-
ranging 20 minutes of our conversation into context. It’s
clear that Cheng’s eyes are open, and he’s excited to show
the world what he sees. m