Crossing Art is pleased to present Gang Chen: Invasive Intimacy, the New York solo debut of Beijing based artist Gang Chen curated by Catherine Lee. Invasive Intimacy is an exhibition of paintings based on x-ray images of luggage taken when it passes through airport security. Chen’s work explores the relationships between the object and its owner through the lens of airport security – each intimately explored and dissected. Chen aims to demonstrate the side of mankind that is unable to express a combination of feelings such as distress mixed with ecstasy; aesthetic beauty with dysfunction and the cultural enforcement of invasive intimacy.
The x-ray paintings are part of a series of paintings titled In Transit which Chen first began working on in the mid-nineties while he was studying in London. Influenced by a constant stream of traveling and living in airports, Chen explores the blurring rules and lines between privacy and voyeurism. After acquiring an old airport x-ray machine, Chen began running objects through the machine inspiring the enlarged and fictional depictions of the x-rayed personal contents of suitcases and luggage. Chen explains that, “The airport x-ray machine reduces the object to its barest image, a pale inner image, a kind of intense, digital abstraction”. The paintings challenge the possibility of discerning the difference between an “object” that is dangerous versus one that is not through the lens of an airport security x-ray machine. Chen’s work becomes an analogy for our population’s inability to be entirely sure of anything even in our outrageous attempts to control and prevent. Juxtapositions appear through Chen’s affinity between subject matter and application of paint as he depicts the relationship between transparency and opaqueness, public and private; accepted voyeurism. The current increase in airport security and enforcement of new modes of x-ray security (the new full body scans, and the images recent leak on the internet) support Chen’s thesis that in the world today, one is forced to expose; nothing kept secret.
Gang Chen was born in China and studied art at Nanjing Art Academy and the Central Academy of Drama in China. Upon arriving in New York, after studying in London, Chen took a break from paintings and began exploring photography and film-making directing two full-length films and lecturing through Universities in China. Gang Chen’s multi-media art works have been exhibited in John Moore’s Liverpool Biennial, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in London, Ethan Cohen and Crossing Art in New York. He currently lives and works in New York, NY and Beijing, China.
For additional information contact Jennifer at (212) 359-4333 or [email protected]