Xinchen Du

Performance Space, 2018 Oil on Canvas

You Are Invited #1, 2017 Oil on Wood with a small wooden panel nailed on it

Abstract Shadow Puppet, 2017 Oil on Wood

Untitled, 2017

Untitled Space, 2017 Oil on Canvas

Artist Statement

In examining the Western art movement, Constructivism, and Italian Futurism, I recognize elements that can be seen as originating in the East, although this is not commonly acknowledged in Western art history. In my artistic practice and thesis work, I aim to expose the elements of western painting which derive, contend in Eastern culture. In order to explore the relation between shapes, colors, and compositions of Eastern iconography in modern art. I use the example of Chinese Shadow Play to enact the primary sources of Eastern art that meets the Western style.

I paint with oil paints on flat canvas to reimagine the particular experience of watching Chinese shadow plays from different perspectives combined with geometric abstraction and it’s historical use of color. Because of the characteristic of the figure of the Chinese puppet—its flatness, transparency, and complete silhouette, I approach the figure using a narrative composition, which has similar qualities and characteristics of the shadow puppet. During the exploration of finding similarity and connection between this particular traditional art performance and contemporary modes of representation, the viewer’s experience of the performance takes over my attention for the project. What’s the relationship between the audience, the object that is used for play, and the performers? How is time reflected on these parts—on the stage, behind the stage, and in the audience? I want people to take on different roles, both as the performer and the viewer, when they stand in front of my works. Everyone is invited to enjoy the show!