What is your artistic practice about?
The projects that I have been working are about the tension between social expectations and individual identities. Human beings are social animals, inevitably we are under pressure to conform to social norms; at the same time, we have our own identities and values. This is where the tension comes in.
I witnessed people around me became frustrated and depressed by social myths, like the standard of beauty. I have made these social issues the focus of my art. I have no intention to judge but I want to reveal the truth about social norms. The audience is the one to judge and to think about their own identities and positions in the contemporary world.
How does your art relate to yourself?
As a female artist raised in Hong Kong and now based in the United States, I have witnessed how gender politics and popular attitudes towards gender play out in Asian and western societies. I have been experiencing the tension where external and inner forces pull in different directions; I believe my firsthand experience is shared by most of the female contemporaries.
What do you want your artworks to bring about?
My artworks express my feelings as a woman, expose the falsehood of social expectations, bring out the core value of individuals, and encourage people to question the accepted wisdom.
I believe that art is a universal language. Everyone should be able to understand an art piece, regardless his/her educational and cultural background. I hope my works would create a positive impact to the society.
When did you begin to make art?
I enjoyed making things since I was a kid, in all shapes and forms, with my own hands. I made clothes out of used bed linen, built my dream house with cardboard, drew city maps on the floor with colour markers. I began to make objects that contain more complex meanings when I studied in the Hong Kong Art School for my Fine Arts degree.
What has changed after you began your art practice?
Art became part of my life, it is inseparable from my thinking process. I observed people and social phenomenon around me, and I relate them to my practice. Daily experiences become an important essence of my work, these experiences nourish enrich my work.
What is your biggest struggle when making art?
When making artwork, I want to make sure that the audience can understand and interpret my work; at the same time, I want to leave rooms for imagination. It is never easy to strike a balance and come up with the best way to transform my ideas into an artwork.
“When we reach certain age we stopped asking questions and accept things as they are. I think it is extremely important for us to keep being curious.”
About Christy Chow
Favorite book: The Pink Glass Swan by Lucy R. Lippard
Favorite movie: Her
Favorite cartoon character: Judy Abbott in My Daddy Long Legs