Solo Exhibition with works by Carla Chan.
When the World is only left black and grey is a poetic reflection on human intervention in nature as well as a creative experiment in constructing nature via various forms of human mediation.
The works in the exhibition originate in the artist's ambivalent relationship with nature, her entomophobia as well as her fear of being alone in the wild. Yet by putting herself in the position as a distant observer, the artist confronts the land and natural objects that she fears, unearthing uncanny beauty and identifying mysterious patterns along the creative process. In this journey, she found nature is getting more and more like a human invention, an impure construct and myth that is increasingly become a sort of a complex hybrid. Even in the seemingly most untouched parts of the world, traces of human interference or presence can be found.
In a highly technologized and globalized world, a new form of “natural” beauty is being created through heavy human involvement. Not only do we destroy “nature” but at the same time we also let it grow in ways that are not supposed to be. This unexpected, artificial change creates a kind of unnatural nature. This unnatural nature creates changes in such a rapid speed and exhibits emergent behaviors that we can no longer easily foresee its consequences, hazards as well as beauty.
The current exhibition reflects on this intriguing dilemma between human intervention and natural development. It intends to provide the viewer with a poetic space in thinking about this difficult and conflicting issue. Hazardous as they might be, the toxic beauty of the traces left by us on this planet are often ironically spectacular and fascinating. Struggling with this realization as well as her difficult relationships with nature, the artist attempts to use different chemical and toxic process in producing disturbing and yet visually impressive effects in her work to confront and explore this difficult problem. By capturing the “horror” and damage of the organic/inorganic destruction in the creative process, the artist intends to stage both a symbolic and literal environmental drama that goes beyond the surface. A visual drama that intimately fuses natural destruction with artistic creation.
When the World is only left black and grey consists of several pieces working along with the ideas as outlined above.
Black force is a chemical print (carbon black printed with acetone). The artist uses the randomness of the black patterns created by the carbon in combination with acetone to reflect the way that nature is effected by pollution. During the production process, the artist put herself in an environment that was highly polluted due to the very process and materials that she used in her production. The printmaking process is a sort of a staged performance that prefigured the artistic outcome, which is the chemical print. The totality of the work suggests and recreates an ambiguous relationship between creation and destruction, pollution and beauty as well as process and work.
Between happening is a kinetic, time-based installation. It consists of a framed screen print and a custom-built magnetic mechanism hidden behind it. The magnet attached to the mechanism inside the frame moves iron powder printed onto the paper. The iron powder reveals the structures and outlines of a landscape. The looped, mechanical movement contrasts and unites ideas of the cyclical character of life and the mechanic intervention of humans within it. This view is only revealed through time, just like the magnet reveals the impact of the iron powder on the print over time.