Sidi Chen

Influenced by my experiences of lived and traveled from China to Canada, I have been inspired by the diverse aesthetic philosophies and painting techniques from east to west. Thus, I focus my practices on mixed-media painting as I believe that different mediums tell different stories. I choose specific materials for designed subjects. From the ancient Taoist idea that human is the integral part of nature, I am inspired by the intimate life experiences of changing roles and stages, which, as a point of penetration, I use the human form as the measurement to explore and discuss the relationships between society and nature.

For “Returning Path” I want to explore how people can find the balances between their roles in social structures and nature through the experience of returning to their natural state. Inspired by the Taoism sayings that we exist inside nature, and nature is exists inside our bodies, I want to use the human form as a unit and measurement to describe the current situations between mankind and nature. What we have destroyed in nature is also destroying who we are, and what we have built in the society is also bringing us away from who we were born to be. Wars, famine; pollutions, illnesses; over developments, endangered animals; and the list goes on.  The society of mankind is built upon the nature, and we can’t escape the chain of effects. Therefore, I believe that it is time for us to return to nature, from form to heart, to see where we are standing, and to see where the path will lead us to. We have been changing the environment to adapt to us, but forget that nature gave us the gift of evolution. Returning is evolving. I hope through the 10-day residency, I can explore my perspective of relationships between people and their connections to nature. The proposed work, Returning Path, will be made of mixed media including acrylic paints and Indian inks on un-scratched un-gessoed raw canvas. The dimensions of Returning Path will be 4 by 12 feet. There are six abstract human figures on the painting to present the mythology of Phaethon tragedy, the suffering of wars, the returning path, the nature in torture, and the lost minds. The painting will also present the combination of traditional Chinese painting skills and the “unfinished” philosophy with the western sketch and drawing techniques.

Sidi Chen, an artist who has studied and traveled in various cultures from the east to the west. Inspired by his life-change experiences, he’s been focusing on combining the traditional Chinese painting philosophy and techniques with the western ones. Through his mix media paintings, he discusses about the stages and relationships among the society and nature. Chen is currently doing his BFA at the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia.