Q & A
The curators asked each artist a few questions about their current living situations considering how the pandemic changed everything in such a short time. Meanwhile, some of the artists chose to share pictures about their creative lives, and/or anything in their mind that can answer our question.
Leave a message here or DM Tutu Gallery @gallerytutu on Instagram if you have any questions for the artists or curators. We will update the answers and add them here.
(b.1984) is a painter and illustrator who currently lives and works in Bucheun, South Korea.
When you don't want to do anything
Focus only on my self
Let everything rest
Not to lose consciousness, sleep, or dream
Resting all of me with awake mind
After taking a breath for relaxation only
It feels more transparent and clear
Feels like the things that made me cluttered and complicated flew away
I became lighter than anything else
I stand still, nothing else
Q & A
Tutu: How are you responding to the pandemic and how doe it affect your art practice?
Sohyun: I think it's painful and difficult.
I just want my painting to be a little warm comfort to those who are lonely while social interaction with sick people is blocked.
I keep working hard like that.
Su A Chae
is a South Korean visual artist, currently based in the Midwestern United States. She received an MFA in Painting from Indiana University Bloomington and an MA and a BA in Business from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. Her work has been exhibited at venues such as the Ortega y Gasset Projects in Brooklyn, the Painting Center in New York, the Icebox Project Space in Philadelphia, the Harrison Center in Indianapolis, Indiana University in Bloomington, Young Space and others. Her work has been appeared in print including Studio Visit, Create! Magazine, Maake, Friend of The Artist, Herald-Times, and others. She was an artist-in-residence at Vermont Studio Center, attended a painting workshop at Penland School of Craft as a recipient of the Higher Education Partner Program Scholarship, and completed the Tyler School of Art Summer Painting & Sculpture Intensive. Su A Chae has been recently selected as a finalist for the Hopper Prize.
My painting investigates the ambivalence associated with identity and asymmetrical balance that creates paradoxical spatial propositions.
I employ (semi-)abstraction as a means of extracting
my cultural and autobiographical—often intertwined
with social and political—identity. The grids, squares, and patterns serve as a vehicle for describing separation, interference, confrontation, and tension, as well as an underlying structure. The lattice or checkerboard-like structures that resemble a fence or a gate speak of a physical, psychological or cultural barrier that I have experienced since I moved to the United States. The rectangles are simplified but non-universal visual information that contains my personal and cultural perceptional experience.
Grounded on my belief that art can be a remedy to counteract the effects of social imbalance, I use asymmetrical balance of shapes, patterns, colors, and textures to deliberately create paradoxical spatial propositions. An organic, microbiological, or cosmological quality frequently appears in my paintings as a marker of personal and cultural memory and as well as a counterbalance to rigidity embedded within my paintings. I intend the gentle and tempting colors accompanying with wild and agitating elements to invite the viewers to the enigmatic mindscape where they see their own multi-layered images as reality.
As a Xennial who has had an analog childhood and a digital adulthood, I tend to make a painting that looks digital but still remains the materiality. While maintaining the physicality, my paintings where gradational colors are paired with textural surfaces chase the digital aura.
The tension and ambiguity between the micro and the macro, the interior and the exterior, and the illusionary and the material within a paradoxical space interrogates about what it is what we see. I hope to open up a larger conversation of diversity and coexistence in social context. My paintings allow the rigid structures to be the places of human possibility rather than suppression within these structures live anger, anxiety, playfulness, and hope, and the possibility.
approach to my art practice with the interest in the digital media.) I am ready to go back to my studio barn to infuse the vitality and the materiality into my digital studies that I have made by producing physical paintings.
Tutu: What inspires you the most right now?
Su: Deglobalization and connectivity, individuality and solidarity, and relationship between humans and nature are what I am thinking of right now. The pandemic allows me to have more time to read a variety of books. In particular, I am reading again some classics, dystopian novels, and history books that I enjoyed reading many years ago, such as the works by Dante, Albert Camus, Jonathan Swift, Aldous Huxley, José Saramago, Jered Diamond and others. As we seek to grasp our past’s lessons for our future, I am reading those books to gain insights into this uncertain circumstances and, hopefully, the future. Besides reading alone at home, I am attending a book club via Zoom to meet my friends and to discuss books. We are currently reading a survival story of a young boy in the wilderness, that can inspire us to have hope and resilience in a challenging situation. Reading books not only helps me experience and analyze the world through others’ lives but also foster and practice imagination. I am seeking to visualize what I’ve read, thought, and questioned in the form of painting.
Q & A
Tutu: How are you responding to the pandemic and how does it affect your art practice?
Su: After experiencing a state of confusion, anxiety, and lack of motivation, I am adapting to the new life for artistic creation. I have been reflecting what I have done, researching painting ideas, making digital painting, and exploring other digital media such as 3D modeling programs at home since the state implemented stay-at-home order. I was always eager to find the ways to incorporate the digital quality-the immateriality-into my art practice before the pandemic. Oddly, the pandemic, that forces me to do many things online and in the digital space, assures me of the importance of liveliness that painting presents in the form of a material object. (It may be my psychological reactance to the forcible and irresistible
circumstances, but I know I will keep developing a new
Karen Y. Chan
(b. New York, NY) is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York, NY. In the last year and a half, she devoted much of her time to writing poetry for her forthcoming chapbook, Your Body Is an Idea. Chan writes about the complexities of emotions in states of love, limbo, and uncertainty, while exploring ways to integrate poetry and experimental texts with her videos and installations. She is also co-editor of Caddisfly Project, an artists’ magazine launching in 2020.
Chan has exhibited work at the Queens Museum (Flushing, NY), Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY), MITU580 (Brooklyn, NY), Ed. Varie (New York, NY), AC Institute (New York, NY), BronxArtSpace (Bronx, NY), Roman Susan (Chicago, IL), Fernway Gallery (Chicago, IL), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA), Klaus Center for the Arts (San Pedro, CA), Alexander Calder Fine Arts Center (Allendale, MI), M23
(Miami, FL), Rochester Contemporary Art Center (Rochester, NY), amongst others.
Her collaborative multimedia project with musician and composer JunYi Chow was awarded the Queens Council on the Arts New Work Grant, and was presented at Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, NY) and Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning (Jamaica, NY).
Chan was Artist-in-Residence at The Studios at MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA), Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Alberta, Canada), and Transart Institute (Berlin, Germany). She holds an MA in Media Studies from The New School and a BA in Journalism from New York University (New York, NY).