THE LINE MIAMI Selection at Laundromat Art Space
January 26th – February 2nd
5900 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL, 33137
My delicate and intricate works combine drawing and painting, and are filled with technical, visual and conceptual juxtapositions and dualisms. Often illuminated with lights that are integrated in their frames, these works appear to be small windows into nature. Ink layers of varying thicknesses, partially in neon colors, bring about an iridescent quality where images of architecture are combined with a colorful interpretation of nature through the overlay of special polyester films. Focusing on contrasting themes such as urban life vs. nature, environmental protection vs. pollution, or organic vs. synthetic. Other prominent themes of mine include childhood, free play and the experience of nature—inspired by my own childhood memories and my observation of my three children playing and interacting. Noticing that children’s simple, spontaneous play in a natural setting is increasingly being lost in contemporary America as more and more emphasis is put on school work and organized activities.
Shown here at AQUA ART MIAMI are works of a series called ‘yardless homes’. Oftentimes, in the Miami area I notice massive homes on large lots (10,000sf or more). There is no space for a yard remaining. Only a pool. The lot size is maxed out with giant homes.
The place where we live conditions our acts, thoughts and way of life. Whatever surrounds us modifies our behavior; we change according to where we are and what we experience, adapting ourselves to the environment.
My work is about the psychological influence of the surroundings and the relationship between place and identity. I work over the place that is the visual element in this relationship. I start with the manipulation of photographs of landscapes, places or objects that surround me. I incorporate them to the work, setting them over abstract collages. The abstract collage is a way of representing the junction of texture, matter and color of the landscape, which are rearranged into a new image.
In my latest series, the images are from my daily car commute. By the observation and registration through photography I start a process of appropriation and representation of these places, making them a part of my own experience. I work with different mediums such as acrylic, collage, photography, transfers and assemblage.
We’re all interconnected and all life is held within an enormous network where every thought, word, and deed results in a palpable effect. While we may be aware of some of these effects, they mostly affect us on a subconscious level. What we see and who we meet—these things generate a reaction in us which, in turn, brings about a reaction in the next person, and so the chain continues. We let ourselves be influenced by society and we have an influence on society. Our whole environment is created and shaped by each of us—it’s a never-ending cycle and everyone is part of its overall design.
My body of work illustrates this idea of interconnectedness; it’s characterized by my classical education as a graphic designer in which I was trained in different traditional crafts that I now combine. It consists of precise ink drawings, photographs, books, short texts, and collages that I refine digitally or occasionally blend with printmaking. Recently, I began incorporating myself in my pictures and videos by using performative strategies of expression partially based on classical dance and yoga poses.
My projects are mainly inspired by nature; they reinterpret natural patterns or are recorded in situ. Some of them might appear whimsical or abstract, because their correlation doesn’t seem to be comprehensible. Their context emerges then, when our senses become sharpened.
In an effort to raise awareness, I call attention to less obvious connections existing between disparate items. The artistic reality I create contains images meant to serve as a metaphor for our consciousness, encouraging us to recognize personal responsibility for all situations we construct in life, as well as our individual obligation to the environment. Our impact and energy are more powerful than we may think. Not only are we part of a system that guides us, we also define it through our behavior. If we become aware of our role in this synergy, we’ll realize: all is one.
Through deliberate mark-making that is both minimalist and conceptual, flat and sculptural, I examine the mechanisms of time, nature, space, and sound. Using black ink on paper or board I draw lines that coalesce into a field or form whose twin can often be found in nature. The organic shapes mirror microscopic and cosmic landscapes, zooming in to suggest cellular structures and then out again, into hyperspace. Like nature, these drawings are never still. Graceful, volatile, or habitual in turns, I seek to capture perpetual movement and growth in expertly suspended animation. The symmetry of the work would suggest a mechanical approach using rulers and grids, but my drawings are done freehand, evolving organically, each according to its own cadence.
Like fossils, each mark exists as evidence of a distinct and patient process, an incremental
accumulation that requires minute attention to detail and leaves little room for error. But I find peace from the din of modern life in this iterative and meditative process. Surrounded by speed and violence, drawing is my way of slowing down and experiencing things one mark at a time.
Judith Berk King
Scientific specimens presented by museums in their glass cases and the artistic renderings of previous eras have always fascinated me. The displays and drawings enabled me to enter a place where strange objects, transformed by preservation and dissection, were brought into the light of day.
As an artist, I focus on the creation and display of curious zoological and botanical structures. Many of the creatures exist in a far distant future, one shaped by environmental changes as well as modifications deliberately made by man. The style of the work may be contemporary or recall the work of scientific illustrators of the past, transcending time. Through re-imagination and distortion, I invite the viewer to examine and interpret the ambiguous and sometimes disquieting forms that inhabit these works.
Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann
My work‘s abstractions arise from the subjects I portray: ecological and geological cycles, processes of chemical corrosion and natural efflorescence. With roots in traditions of Chinese landscape painting, my monumentally sized paintings and installations evolve a fantastic, abstract vision of the natural world. My latest work confronts the challenge: the resuscitation of landscape painting in a world where “landscape” is represented and defined through an ever-widening field of digital, graphic, and visual forms. How can a painting capture flux, abundance, waste, fertility, and the collision and collusion of diverse forms? How can it respond to the pressure we place on our era‘s fragile ecosystem? My paintings explore both questions by sustaining tension between what is artificial and what is natural, between what is chemical and what is biological, between organic and inorganic. The paper on which I paint is not only a recognition of a tradition of Chinese painting; it is also a medium of vulnerability and expansiveness, susceptible to crease and tear as well as to collage and collation. My own role in the creation of the paintings strikes a balance between the purposive and the protective. I trust to process, chance, and change, but I encourage, direct, and facilitate all of these. In my most recent work, I hope to live in the tradition of landscape painting, experiencing it for what it has always been: an occasion for radical experimentation and confrontation with the world, in the broadest sense of the term, that sustains us.
Increasingly as we go about our 21st Century lives, we try to bridge the gap between spaces we see and navigate in the physical world and those we see and navigate in the online world. Taking from the conception of augmented reality, every physical, geographical space is “interpenetrated” with information, so all physical spaces already are now also informational spaces. Present cartographical and architectural understandings of space are thus ever changing and being adapted to accommodate consistently more data infused environments. In drawing that subscribes both to traditional cartography and internet mapping to explore new dimensions of our contemporary landscape, I look at specifically, how ‘location’, or the contemporary ability, via the world wide web, to be everywhere and nowhere at once presents contradictions of identity in geo-political relationships: interpretations of personal and collective history are reshaped by the onset of digital information technology, offsetting our traditional sense of civic legibility. By mapping out new social cartographies, I hypothetically chart overlays of information flows that cut across cities, hover over continents, and seemingly negate the need of geographical location for human interaction in an effort to reinsert a new sense of civic legibility.
My work evolves from repeated themes based on contradiction and movement, forces materializing in collage, drawing, painting and installation. Mixed media provides a fluid structure for the exploration of disparate ideas and offers a broad material vocabulary for unpredictable combinations.
Artistic tension in my work arises from: still versus energetic, organic versus synthetic, fragility versus strength, bizarre versus logical, flat versus relief, wall versus room and chaos versus order. These opposites co-exist and agitate within physical and psychic space.
I am intrigued with the relationship between chaos and order as a symbol for life processes as is stated in chaos theory; that within the randomness of chaotic systems (such as nature), there are underlying moments of order and pattern. My drawings are often filled with random, energetic movements in ink and collage. Found among markings and layered materials are moments of ordered patterns—visual stops of rhythm and repetition. These moments offer structured relief from meandering, seemingly aimless, dashing paths and drippings of ink.
My experiences with improvisational dance have created a body awareness that frequently inserts itself into my work. Copious markings reflect movement in space, a searching for direction and discovery, found on paths and within layers.
I am captivated by the motion and stillness of nature and its unseen forces are the impetus of my work. I explore intersections between earth and us through the natural phenomenon such as glaciation, wind, water, and light. My work is often based on satellite imagery of weather, maps, and other data combined with the physical experience of the landscape. When moving between representation and abstraction, I focus on and then conceptualize, our landscapes, bringing together aesthetics and grave ecological concerns.