© 2019 chloe wing sam chow. UAL 

Paper Cage, Gibberd Gallery, Harlow,  West Essex,

Aug- 27th Oct 2018

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Paper Cage  at  the  Gibberd Gallery & Lightbox  Gallery 

Song 'Phobia' by Chloe Wing

Art of Caring, St Pancras Hospital, London 

Jul-Oct 18th 2018. 

Hand cut paper housed between sheets of glass and framed in lime wash frames. Part of the Art of Caring show to celebrate the nurses in the NHS.

Beautiful Cages

 

Chloe Wing – Artist Statement

"Civilisation is a necessary evil that always brings unhappiness"

Stephen Frosh

The paper cages I create are psychological spaces that represent the microcosm of the mind. There is a conflict lurking within my immersive, light and shadow, paper cutting installations; one of beauty and comfort, alongside anxiety and isolation. They reveal social alienation as being protective and safe, as well as segregating and lonely. I look at the difficulty of fitting into society and how we rely on this too much rather than looking at intuition.

I make art out of a personal need, so it has a raw and confessional foundation. I look specifically at the vivid nature of trauma and emotion within the memory and how it impedes the individual’s mentality. By externalising emotions such as anxiety and fear I show the invisible to be something extremely tangible and debilitating.

Expressionism and experience is a way to seek solutions by looking at one’s relationship with the world and therefore oneself.

This Expressionistic approach makes it personal and produces a narrative... a narrative that requires movement.

 

My artwork is an expression of the Individual. It stems primarily from the experiences of real people, revealing mental and emotional struggles caused by a lack of autonomy and normalisation. These internal 'portraits' are highly idiosyncratic, releasing, and diaristic in content; and this expressionistic element to the work inevitably brings with it a catharsis.

I am intrigued by the fundamental need to belong as well as be. The complex relationship between the individual and society and how it is both nurturing and harmful.

The inside (individual's space) and outside (social space) are separate yet try to relate somehow with difficulty.

Although my art is extremely subjective it is essentially relational and compassionate. What compels me is the audience’s role within my experiential works. They are made to be seen and are performative for the viewer and myself. You can look within them, walk around them. It is very contextual because where the viewer is within the space is very important and indicative of something happening; the space interacts with each piece and the viewer. So within my art I depict boundaries that are to be navigated within - between the inside & outside, private & public, mental & physical zones.

I would like the viewer to wonder... why things are the way they are…to question the surroundings and … And by stripping away the physical and material appearances, and instead using words I seek to highlight the internal realm as opposed to the superficial.

 

I am drawn to the fragility of paper, and the act of cutting it by hand allows me to have a close relationship with my work. Like the sewing of quilts at home or writing a diary in the bedroom; my work reflects a storytelling within a private domestic setting. I weave words into symbolic and surreal narratives and use a fairy-tale-like style to depict this atmospheric and impeded realm. These paper cages are highly symbolic. The paper represents the mental walls and confinement of something that is not physical yet is still just as strong and present.

The delicacy of the paper also reflects the ephemeral nature of ideas and thoughts and how what appears to be concrete is not necessarily. 

 

On the one hand, I expose an authority present within language by portraying society as a dominant, man-made construct. I am curious about ideologies and collective ideas, which are absorbed by the individual from their surrounding community and culture. By juxtaposing the human need to belong, with issues of convention, notions of right and wrong, cultural histories, I link the mental with the social; looking at the individual's value in relation to their 'group value'.

Symbolism, humanity, community, psychology, alienation in relation to man-made decisions feature in my art as a trail of clues. What is it that we think exactly and where does it come from? Are our views and feelings towards ourselves and others fixed? Or are they learned and illusory?... I am concerned with the history of identity within established status' and hierarchies embedded into mainstream society.

The identity of the individual relies heavily on language and social awareness and insists that we must define oneself. 

Language is used in a controlled and dividing way and can be damaging when used internally in thoughts and externally as communication. Yet it is something within society that is striving to expand and grow with the times in order to describe what is happening around us and as well as gain more understanding and clarity about others. Words inadequately convey the bigger picture and this misuse of it has lasting effects on identifying oneself. Lang in conjunction with visuals can have a powerful and deep influence upon the mind.

As children we are taught opposites, good and bad, right and wrong, feminine and masculine, pretty and ugly, win or lose, best and worst, which can have negative and positive connotations. They are teaching strict notions of what is and is not acceptable and in turn create expectations. Language exposes the restriction of expression and connection with others and oneself. is limited and by learning it we become limited as well. It is presented as concrete and authoritative and physical. This limitation is a necessary safety of the familiar that we need.

represents more than just a way to communicate but also the identity of a society and culture and its beliefs.

 

On the other hand, I am interested in feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, vulnerability and how emotions embed experiences into the unconscious, as in post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic psychological damage, depression, emotional disruption and recollection. By relating psychoanalysis with community, I expose the complex psychosocial situation of the individual; how one sees oneself is very much based upon the collective perceptions and ideas.

The mind is controlled in so many invisible ways, by existing within an environment and with others…

The emotions are very much overlooked and perceived as quite a frivolous subject, when in reality they play a huge part in our actions, views, decisions and reactions of our everyday living. And when looking at the emotions a lot can be read not only about the individual but most vitally the world around them.The emotions can reveal a great deal about the individual and the world around them.

I also look at the emotional and mental struggle within the individual in relation to a community, and how this relationship is both complex yet inevitable. I like to focus on how trauma can have a lasting effect within the memory and show that they are implications of the psychosocial and communal environment. This will correlate strongly with depression and how the individual seeks their happiness

Because I seek health I have to consider my mental health and I have to excavate to discover the root of my dis-ease… I strongly feel that physical health and mental health are mutually exclusive and …Psycho social realm is so important to our experiences and existence… how the mind is so powerful and how a lack of understanding of oneself can lead to a depression but also reveal the inadequacies of society as a whole…

To understand oneself in these psychological places…

 

My collection ‘Beautiful Cages’ exudes the striving of connection, empathy and communication, as well as the difficulty of ever achieving these things. I highlight the interior person, and by doing so I seek to expose something fundamentally human. I do use my art to sort through life emotionally and mentally, yet, I also look at how emotions as a universal language can bond people; whereas social norms can separate. I strongly feel the way to be with others is to relate and this is an emotional issue rather than a physical one.