Chenxi Gao, Painting
There is a close parallel between my physical living space and my inner world. Growing up in a quiet suburb in China, I am used to the muted colors of our furniture and the plain walls. I have been emotionally attached to my living space since I was young. It comforts my introverted soul with stability and safety.
However, this attachment was challenged by the pandemic in 2020. After sitting at the same corner of my apartment and staring at the couch and beige walls all day long, this interior space became both lovable and restrictive. One day, I looked through the window and saw the vibrant colors of nature. Then, I realized that it was time for some fresh air.
In my imagination, the floor becomes the ocean and the earth, and the ceiling opens up to the sky. I am breathing the air with the salty, dusty, or some mysteriously pleasant smells. The moving shadows of the trees on the walls excite me, along with the glowing orange color of the sunset. The outside is complex and even dangerous, but its beauty is hard to resist. For a long time, I had been afraid of its unpredictable quality. I kept a distance from it and always took the safe path. I would never abandon my sweet home, but now, the outer world is inviting me for adventures. In this series of paintings, the objects and structures of my apartment and the abstracted landscape interact in different ways. They illustrate my searching for movements in the stable, and the unlimited in the limited. Sometimes I am yelling through my brushstrokes and colors, but at other times there is a calm meditative moment. I am stepping out of my long-time comfort zone, both physically and mentally. There are struggles and doubts, but I look forward and have hope.