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Kennis Chan

MA work

'Things are not as they appear, nor are they otherwise.'
– Lankavatara Sutra

The in-between of things is the meeting point of knowing and not knowing.

A painting might be composed of straight lines and in turn distinct forms, but within this, undergo a continuous process of figuring and undoing/dissolution.

It is not a straightforward task to discover the root of abstraction.

A painting is composed of appearances, and appearances modulate a deeper articulation of space. The act of painting is a declaration of a starting point. I can never overcome the sensation of emptiness fluctuating between a murky and crystalline quality. Perhaps I paint because I will never be able to reach an answer. The universe is preserved by the mist of not knowing, although this has never stopped me from talking about painting. This mark or that, this contrast or balance, the right tone, absorption of paint into the linen ground, articulation of line, forces and modulations: all these elements in countless combinations. I might never cease with such preoccupations. But how does painting sink back into the silence of its own occasion?

Things are certainly not as they appear and yet it is appearance that brings with it so many demands. I am inclined to think that appearance is noisy. Who knows? Through this body of work, I am thinking about refrains and releases, pauses and movements, hard and soft, yielding and holding. But then I might be talking about life as much as art. Is the opposite of life, art? I do not have to answer but the swerve between simplicity and complexity might still be addressed. So what I come to, if only in steps and occasional skips, is that painting is the most simple state of accord, with things 'not as they appear, nor are they otherwise.'

Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA Painting, 2015

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) Fine Art, Lancaster University, 2013
  • Experience

  • Visiting artist, Cambridge School of Art, Cambridge, 2015
  • Exhibitions

  • In Conversations, YY9 Gallery, Hong Kong, 2015; RCA Secret, Royal College of Art, London, 2015; Graduate Show, Granary Art Gallery, Weston Park, 2015; Summer Show, YY9 Gallery, Hong Kong, 2014; RCA Secret, Royal College of Art, London, 2014; Work in Progress Show, Royal College of Art, London, 2014 ; Northern Graduates, Curwen Gallery, London, 2013; Abstraction, YY9 Gallery, Hong Kong, 2013; North by West, Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster University, 2013