Interview with Tao Xian


This interview features Chinese artist Tao Xian, and was recorded at Asian Art Platform in April 2019 during her solo exhibition Déjà vu.

Video Transcript

My works are a reflection of what it is to live in a fast-paced world. They are informed by the experience that I have of living in different cities and cultures, specifically the years I spent between New York and Beijing.

I often find that we rely more and more on digital devices to store our memories, and screens are the tools most people use for getting information. Walking on the street we often see distorted reflections of ourselves through the glass walls, all these things have become part of our everyday life.

I see the human body as an essential agent that connects our changing desires to the outside world. Women portraits and bodies are the subject matter of most of my paintings. I’m interested in exploring female identity and sexuality by recording their intimate moments whether it is a woman in a found image that I saw during travelling or pictures that I took of my female friends. Those images that start out as photographs and then, through digital technology are bent, shaped, stretched, distorted and multiplied.

I find inspirations in the occasional crashes of technological systems. These crashes eventually find themselves reappear in the painting as visual elements that break up a complete representational image. The original images transfer themselves from representational to the abstract, like a liquid passenger. In this way, I turn the visual effect of such as “glitch” into a recurring motif of my paintings, as if these paintings have become malfunctioned screens or memories that are fading away, yet the essences remain the same.

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