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Carlina Chen’s practice explores experiences of time and space in everyday life. Everyday indicates routine, the mundane; the actual backbone of our existence. This overlooked omnipresence is a staple of her art-making language.
Overlook features visuals and audio, mapping out a shared riding experience that illustrates how we relate to the spaces and the temporal dimension we occupy, whether it is the land we live on, the sounds we hear around us or those inside our heads.
Chen elaborates on her inspiration, writing:
My room is next to a busy street where traffic is always bustling. When I first moved in, I had to wear earplugs for sleep; though over time, it became white noise that soothes my sleep. During the pandemic lockdown, spending 95% of my time inside, I began to notice a low and steady sound: TTC streetcars passing right under my window.
The sound takes me to pre-lockdown days that every now and then I would get on streetcars, ride for few stops, get off, walk few stops, hop in again. I travel the city.
Note on the printing process: while not being able to access Open Studio during the pandemic, Chen looked for alternatives to continue printing at home. Through some online searches, she found out that a standard pasta maker could be utilized as a press. All printed images are drypoint (each print matrix was created using thin plastic which was cut and scored with an Exacto knife and then inked and passed through the press).
Carlina Chen was born in Taiwan and now resides in Toronto. She holds an MFA from OCADU and is a multi-disciplinary artist and curator. Her work deals with migration, culture, text, and the passage of time.
She has exhibited nationally and internationally, with work in private and public collections, such as the Canadian Chancery, and the National Gallery of Australia.
Since being awarded Open Studio’s Don Phillips Scholarship, Chen has worked, exhibited and befriended many members at the Artist-Run Centre and deems Open Studio her second home. She has worked on various curatorial projects addressing the intersection of East and West. She arranged Boundless and Borderless, a print exchange portfolio between Canada and Australia (based on an exhibit curated by Artist Member Penelope Stewart, launched at the AGO Print Centre) to tour Taiwan in 2014-15 and Line & Verse – A Visual Exploration of Poetry between Canada and Taiwan exhibiting both in Taiwan and at the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, U of T in 2018-19.