Christina XU
Chinese American Artist

Blog

開始 (Kāishǐ) - Beginning

Let me start by stating that I have no real professional training in painting. To be completely honest, I don't practice nearly enough as I probably should but so far I've been able to get away with it. I'm a careful observer and a visual learner. It has been working in my favor and has substituted for method and skill but that's only gotten me so far and now it's time to buckle down and really work on technique. Other more established artists have told me that they enjoy the unadulterated way I work and in some ways it's been the greatest compliment. So far, my work hasn't been about my technique. I mean, yes, I care about polishing my skills but up to this point I've been painting as a means of expression and healing and removing the angst  from my mind. 

With my first duo-show that I recently had, I put a lot of thought into the titles. These titles are very personal; they define the conflict and anxiety I experience as an Asian- American girl. 

The Asian community does not support self expression, in fact, the Asian community does not support the '' self '' because we are not individuals, we function as a collective. We are a nation of suppression. We discourage free thinkers, we are ashamed of those who are outspoken, and we take pride in using guilt as a way to progress generations. Let me be clear, I am not a self hating Asian, Dad. Rather, the contrast of being Chinese in America was complex and overwhelming. 

This is the theme of my work at this point. This is my process of finding out what kind of artist I am. It's a weird relationship with myself, trying to communicate an idea into something tangible. It's even more interesting to see my feelings transform into something concrete, into something that other people can observe. It's such a trip. 

 

Christina Xu