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VOYAGER'S IMAGINARY TOPOGRAPHY

Orenda Art Works is pleased to present Voyager's Imaginary Topography, a series of paper works by Locus Chen. Ranging from book arts to woodblock prints, Chen stains ancient paper the colors of wine red to complement the marks left behind by paper worms. Her compositions create a microtopography, tracing the life each page and its use. Organic shapes contrast with patterns, displaying the opposing forces of human control and natural creation. Chen's question is where she should place herself? With her humanness, or her more natural inclinations? She often does not feel she belongs to anywhere, invoking the idea of a voyager who travels in search of a place to be. 

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Blossom, Japanese book pages, woodcut printing, monofilament, light-weight paper tape, paper, 11 in x 8 in x 6 in (open), 2019- 2020

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"Books can be both 'light' and sculptural. The leaves of this concertina were repurposed from an ancient book, possibly originally for bookkeeping. Brutal though delicate, the strips of book leaves are supported with inner monofilaments to let air penetrate in-between folded pages, forming shuttle-shaped petals that allow variable displays. Embroidery with beads are later added on as my response to the existing mark-makings on the pages."

"Rice Composition in Modern Postage has two modes of display: being flat as the original two-dimensional work and folding into a three-dimensional book form. When the book lays flat, the format imitates a full sheet of stamps: centered at each segment of square is a imagery in comprised of cut-out intaglio print with six grains of rice manifesting the same gesture glued in the center of the square; the perforated lines divide each stamp up and at the same time aggregate them all onto a full sheet. Imitation of the full sheet of stamps can be read as a complete edition of miniature prints (being browsed at once) before it is distributed to individual owners for different purposes. This idea is reflected on by using the original intaglio print as the collaging material for the stamps. Ideally, this work is meant be distributed to people as how an edition of fine art prints finds its way to individual owners and how each stamp from one same sheet parcels out onto different envelopes. The performative potential in the work’s form is drafted out but has not yet been realized. When the book is folded up and displayed in book form, it manifests a miniature maze with bewitching seesawed pathways of alternating mirroring imageries and components. The architectural strength of this book form gives the work a versatile and engaging structure, adding complexities into existing visual contents. The book explores the theme of dualistic powers between macro and micro, black and white, sameness and nuances, as rest of the works in the rice series."

"This book presents two sets of endless shadows cast by a single group of vertically aligned rice grains. Shadows indicated by reflective silver lines progress along the first spreads of the accordion, while a subtle embossing traces the front shadows onto the back of the accordion as the other set."

-Locus Chen

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