Exhibition launch with the artists
to be opened by
Professor Ian Howard
Former Dean of College of Fine Arts UNSW
2.30pm-4.30pm Saturday 18 May 2013
The work of Cindy Chen and Li Cui shares the ideas of personal memories and lived experiences - Cindy’s through the sound experience of Buddhist chanting and bird calls and Cui's within the domestic and urban landscape. Cindy Chen’s drawings are personal, intuitive interpretations of sound and its movement through time and space. They are informed by Buddhist chants and Australian bird calls, and are influenced by Chinese landscape painting and alternative graphic notation systems. Li Cui’s work investigates the relationship between self-identity, memory and landscape. By exploring the ongoing memories of landscape, she intends to analyse and search for her true self.
Cindy Chen is a Sydney based artist of Chinese heritage who uses drawing to translate sound experience into a visual form. She recently completed a Master of Fine Arts by research at the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW, in 2012. Cindy was a finalist in the Blake Prize at the SH Ervin Gallery in 2012 and was a finalist for the Tim Olsen drawing prize in 2010, 2009 and 2007. She has exhibited in numerous group shows including ‘Snake Snake Snake’ at Sydney Town Hall in 2013 and Breathe at Art Atrium in 2012.
Li Cui was born in China and graduated with B.A. in Oil Painting in 2004 and with M.A. in Oil Painting in 2007 from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in China. She had exhibited extensively including international contemporary art fairs Art Beijing in 2008 and Art Taipei in 2009. She had received numerous awards including the National Art Graduates Annual Awards at Beijing Today Art Museum. Her work is in the collection of Chengdu Modern Art Museum, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Today Art Museum in Beijing and Xuhui Art Museum in Shanghai as well as in private collections in Canada, China, France, Germany and the United States.
The sound of a cicada. Wind rustling an ocean of trees. The fresh green of early spring leaves. The dialogue between two birds, beyond our comprehension. Things which are empty of a fixed form, which exist in the space of a moment, like thoughts, memories, feelings, us. These are drawings which measure such moments and explore occurrences. They are subjective interpretations of circumstantial experience and search for the inner line of things which have no form. The drawings look at experience as an aggregate of arbitrary sensory elements; a colour, the shape of a sound. This body of work includes studies of Buddhist chanting as well as Australian bird calls, and explores sound as a vital element of temporal experience.
Lucy Lippard’s article The Consequences of Memory depicts memory is ‘a bulwark against amnesia…the closer to the surface of events and emotions alike we remain, the further we are from the depths where meaning and understanding reside. Memories of past experiences provide a sense of self-identity, they remind us of who we are and where we are from. Landscape and memory are inseparable, because landscape is the nexus of our personal and collective memories. Landscapes are alive, in that changes over time produce a montage effect or a series of layers, with each layer able to tell the human story. It is my intention to use painting to document the story of landscape in order to evoke the self-identity hidden underneath.
I use earth materials with traditional painting techniques to obtain a texture that evokes the passing of time, also as a way to document the art making process. In the end, they become part of the image itself, representing the abstract footprints of my artistic exploration.