Saturday, September 14, 2013

Visionary art as an antidote to corporate fascism (continued)


Organique by Gaëlle Van Nah Chong (8.2" X 11.8", Graphite on paper, 2013)

TSHON: When did your passion in art begin and who or what were your earliest influence(s)?

Gaëlle Chong:  I can’t pinpoint the exact moment or event. My parents always encouraged creativity, as well as other family members. As far as I can remember I’ve always had pencils, books and music in my room. Later on my little brother would look at what I was drawing and ask 1000 questions, which annoyed me after a while but today he’s the one I run to whenever I have doubts about my art and he’s one of my favorite artists.

I think sharing artistic interests with my family early in life has made it a medium through which it feels more natural to keep in touch with other humans. When I draw, I feel safe. When people look at my drawings, they see the real me.

TSH: Who are your favorite artist(s) author(s)? 

GC: Terry Gilliam, Raymond Devos, John Waters and Guy de Maupassant, I guess... hard to pick as there are so many.

TSH: What are your current concerns and how are the images you've produced able to communicate your thoughts? 


7 Lunes by Gaëlle Van Nah Chong (7.9" X 5.5", Graphite on paper, 2013)
GC:  Well... product is the excrement of action; I guess that’s it for most of my work. Whatever my brain was fed in the past or while drawing, what you see on paper is what my body/mind hasn’t been able to assimilate, and a snapshot of the fun, painful, soothing, stressful, interesting process of drawing. It’s kind of like when you’re a kid playing on your own; you have this whole story going on in your mind, building forts and pirate ships with pillows. It’s a self-absorbed monologue, a personal train of thoughts, not really social art that conveys a message, denounce or criticize issues. There is the occasional angry-fuck-you-drawing though, or jokes.

TSH: What is your preferred art medium and why are you comfortable in using this medium in the production of your artworks? 

GC: Pencil. It’s clean, cheap, no set up required, easy to carry and I get to indulge the nitpicking part of me. Oil pastels are fun to play with and they get me where I want to go quickly.

Blablabla by Gaëlle Van Nah Chong (26" X 18.5", Graphite on paper, 2013)
TSH: A quote from you on the works you've produced for this exhibition or your philosophy in life in general.

GC: "SpongeBob weird face + avant-garde black metal + childhood trauma + wondering what’s beyond a black hole + anticlericalism + a reference to Mass Effect and baroque art." That’s my side of the story. Different people will have different personal mythologies, symbols, desires, neurosis, so when they look at my drawings their stories will be different too and just as relevant as mine.



Ballerinas of Bodom by Gaëlle Van Nah Chong (6.7" X 7.9", Oil pastel on paper, 2013)
____________
Gaëlle Chong is a creature made of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, sulphur, potassium, sodium, chlorine, magnesium, silicon, iron, fluorine, zinc, rubidium, strontium, broomine, lead, copper, aluminium, cadmium, boron, barium, tin, iodine, manganese, nickel, gold, molybdenum, chromium, caesium, cobalt, uranium, tetrahydrocannabinol, beryllium, radium. It feeds on music, words, images, caffeine and nicotine. If you find yourself threatened by such a creature, throw a cookie and run away, it will focus on the chocolate chips and leave you alone.


Secret Swirl by Melissa Lin (12" X 12", Acrylic on canvas, 2013)
Together Again by Melissa Lin (12" X 12", Acrylic on canvas, 2013)
Motion Mirage by Melissa Lin (12" X 12", Acrylic on canvas, 2013)

TSHON: When did your passion in art begin and who or what were your earliest influence(s)?

Melissa Lin: It’s hard to locate an actual point in time since I loved drawing and being creative as a child. Even then I knew that it was a refuge for me, the act of drawing or painting, a place where I could go to to allow my imagination to be free and wild, to dream and to be happy.

This passion has been a lifelong one, as of course it has evolved and changed as I have, along with the explorations, the subjects, music and art that I am interested in. My teenage loves that have remained an influence are musically The Cure, underground bands and scenes of Punk Rock, Goth, Metal, Hardcore, The Smiths, Joy Division, Teenage Fan Club, and The Sisters of Mercy, etc, etc. During that time and now, some of my favorite art are album covers and band poster art.

Rhythm Ride by Melissa Lin (20" X 28", Acrylic on canvas, 2013)

I’ve always loved stories and growing up I loved Neil Gaiman and the Sandman comics, the books of J.D. Salinger, the Beats, Alice Walker for her insight and compassion, Douglas Coupland, Douglas Rushkoff, the books released by Crimethinc, zines from all over the world, and one memorable one is 'All Broken Up and Dancing' by Kelvin Tan from Singapore of the band the Odd Fellows. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s book 'Women Who Dance with the Wolves' contains a lot of magic and encouragement.

I am drawn to folk art from all traditions, and also art that is offbeat, raw, direct and honest in a way that grabs at the senses - their magic can feel as if for a moment that everything is heightened- or that new worlds or possibilities are opening up for the viewer, lit up from within, I think is how I would best describe it. Early on I loved Dali, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keefe and an amazing artist from Australia, Vali Meyers - and album-poster art Artists! In my earlier years, Fathullah Luqman @ Fathul and Yee I-Lann were inspiring to me.

Midnight Walk by Melissa Lin (12" X 12", Acrylic on canvas, 2013)

TSH: What was the impact of these influences?

ML:  I guess that these books, the music and the art encouraged me to keep at what I’m doing, to find the fire if you will in life, even if it conflicts with the more usual or ‘normal’ ways of seeing, doing, living life. With courage, you can engage with the mystery of life and at that center and in those moments, everything can come alive again and you participate in it, instead of letting life happen to you.

Estuary by Melissa Lin (12" X 12", Acrylic on canvas, 2013)

TSH: Who is/are your favorite artist(s) author(s)? 

ML: Cannot choose one lah but Mary Oliver’s stuff has been really inspiring of late - Joseph Campbell’s ‘The Power of Myth’ and ‘Hero with a Thousand Faces’ has been instructive while my Astrology books always excite me. A monumental work is Richard Tarnas and his book ‘Cosmos and Psyche.’

TSH: What are your current concerns and how are the images you've produced able to communicate your thoughts? 

ML: I’m hoping that my paintings and drawings can actually take people away from thinking - as drawing and painting for me is a way for helping my mind to shut up, putting me back in touch with myself, and the experience is quite healing. If I am successful, my images will put people in touch with an experience or a part of themselves that is older and familiar somehow, something primal. I feel right now that I would like to actually explore and experiment with different things, I like creating characters and worlds but I am concerned with something new that I want to bring forth that still feels like it is in seed phase - working with wood, and with 3-dimensions, I think that will be fun.

Moonglow by Melissa Lin (8" X 8", Acrylic on canvas, 2013)

TSH: What is your preferred art medium and why are you comfortable in using this medium in the production of your artworks?

ML:  I love the ease of acrylic on canvas - and pencil on paper, though I am itching to try out sculpting. I guess I’ve gotten used to creating with these mediums, which can be a good and a bad thing…

TSH: A quote from you on the works you've produced for this exhibition or your philosophy in life in general.

ML:  Ok this is tricky, what to say... something spectral, something wild.

Wild by Melissa Lin (12" X 12", Acrylic on canvas, 2013)



Spectral by Melissa Lin (8" X 8", Acrylic on canvas, 2013)

Oily Teh O Ais: 3 Person Show with Melissa Lin, 
Pereira Irving Paul & Gaëlle Van Nah Chong 
7 - 21 September 2013 @ LostGens'



1 comment:

HETCHESS said...

Spectral is a stunning piece