The award-winning author Jesper Wung Sung sat for this portrait over three painting sessions. In between the sessions, photo reference served as detail sketches to continue work. Technically this portrait proved to be difficult to paint. It certainly underwent many minor revisions before it hit the nail. When that happens, it says much about the portrait artist and his or her abilities. But I also think there was something else at play here — something that initially made me think he would be interesting to paint him. While I personally think Jesper is a handsome man, his facial features and proportions are quite unique.

Jesper has written great many books. One, for instance, is a novel based on a part of his ancestry. En anden gren [Another branch] , is about his great grandparents Ingeborg and San Wung Sung.

At a simple level a portrait must look like the sitter (likeness), but it is better when it says something about the person or has a narrative that makes sense to the sitter.

For this portrait, the author tentatively posed the question if we could make him stand in water in the painting. Having grown up on the island of Ærø, he had a strong connection with ferries as lifelines to connect him with the rest of the civilised world. It explains why he is much for preserving ferry routes. He also thought there was something about sunrises that meant new beginnings. With the sea there was also hint of life and death being out there in the element. Of course, this is as much fiction as his books, but to make the illusion convincing it ought to stand up to scrutiny. Hence, I checked whether the timetable of the Langeland ferry and direction and relative distance to the Spodsbjerg shore would coincide with sunrise. It did on more than one occasion. At 5:16 on August the first, it could look much like this.


You can view other portraits here.

Title/Titel/Titel/Títolo #9E, (Jesper Wung Sung), Acrylic and oil on canvas/ Akryl und Öl auf Leinwand/Akryl og olie på lærred/acrílico e óleo sobre tela 80x100cm.


Jesper Wung Sung