With the exhibition title “Ambivalence”, Teresa Chen refers both to the content and the form of her new body of work. The linking of conflicting connotations, ambivalence and contradiction are still prevailing themes in her work. For the newest series – it is the sixth solo show of the artist at the Galerie Bob Gysin, Teresa Chen has shifted from analog photography to a digital camera and process. However, her interest in using photography as a medium to “see” differently as well as to transform the familiar to the foreign remains crucial.
In previous works, questions of belonging or issues of rootlessness and cultural dislocation were often autobiographical and personal. Her photographs of nature often used unusual scale or an uncommon perspective to emphasize what could also be seen as foreign or alien. The new series “Ambivalence” still moves in this tension between beauty and transience or mortality, aesthetics and alienation, and leaves the viewer questioning and uncertain.
Before the birth of her children, the artist’s own body was a significant element in her
photography. Later, her child’s body served as a projection surface. Now, however, she combines body parts of her children with nature elements in order to create surrealistic, dreamy and nightmarish landscapes and forms. Besides the uncanny, possibly humorous but also morbid connections between humans and nature, are also associations of genetic mutations or even the bioengineering of body parts. Isolation and alienation are visible and almost tangible.
Teresa Chen’s work is a reflection on the alienation and rootlessness or dislocation of
people in our contemporary society. Moreover, she is interested in visual perceptions ofspace through absence and translucence in the pictures. Inspired by traditional Chinese and Japanese ink paintings, her working process was not only the combination of imagery, but also the deliberate removal of visual information.
Because digital photography is often so perfect and flawless, the artist was interested in including individuality and imperfection in the work. She decided to abandon the typical glossy photographic surface and came across wood. Each piece of wood is individual and has a distinct grain and appearance. Although the works are digital collages, the individual image is matched to the wood and thus always unique.
Despite the new digital process, Teresa Chen continues to follow her path!