Hon Eui Chen’s Austere Solitude
The practice of nearly every post-contemporary artist is an adulterous affair;the artist’s commitment to a single medium or process has given way to a creative promiscuity that blurs the once distinct boundaries of traditional art disciplines such as painting and sculpture, or performance and drawing. Ours is an inclusive, mash-up, anything goes epoch.
The emerging, Brooklyn-based artist Hon Eui Chen is a painter who flirts with sculpture. Her work, although executed in various materials – plaster, glazes, fabric, pigment and plastic – is unmistakably committed to the investigation of surface and image. Her process and products engage the stuff of three-dimensional art but remain loyal to the craft and techniques of painting. Mastery of paint and method allows her the prospect of expanding her discipline in search of new realms. In other words, Chen culls the range of her professional and academic training in oil, acrylic, interior design, and faux painting to create elegant works that remain true to tradition and technique while furthering the conceptual possibilities and presentation of painting as installation, object, and sculptural experience.
We access her art on two levels. The first level is the surface of her work – perhaps a reflective plane, textured relief, or an object that extends out beyond the piece to meet us in our own space. In this way, her works become more than paintings. They are sculptural experiences. Each piece is not only a painting in the traditional sense, a stagnant field frozen in time with its own succinct space forever fixed to hold our attention. It is also a magnet that draws the attention which we project into its frame. Chen’s works double as objects or installations that anticipate and hold a relationship with the external and surrounding environment. They project themselves onto us, capturing the viewers as a physical extension of their field.
At the second level is the subject matter of her work. From this perspective, through the veneer, we find painted images, often of human architecture or the design of nature standing in atmospheric haze or impasto relief. Occasionally, three-dimensional objects accompany the paintings. Chen’s choice of imagery seems concerned with structures. She renders the subtle components that organize our landscape. Beyond the quasi-sculptural façade lie the depictions of telephone poles, oil refinery tanks, trees, hallways, and geometric fractals…Click To See Full Article