I always have much favor of anything graphic, or say grids. Probably they resemble the neatness of Chinese traditional painting (no perspective), or the life in high-rise apartments of my home in Guangzhou, China. The illusion of them extending seamlessly is such a strange thing. Though I have no interests in keeping a 100% organized room like grids, this basic structure in a way is a living pattern of contemporary world. This photo, showing small advertisements on a rolling gate taken last summer in Guangzhou, stays in my phone for long time, and it generates much intimacy that I have never felt before.
In Gallery Aferro I work with the artist Ken Weathersby. It’s a time when different people from different cultures meet and innovate and synthesize new ideas, and I start relating everything to grids–the working pace in Newark, the streets in downtown, the books and jazz. It’s the way they are built up, closely and tightly toward all dimensions. The overall is a flat image like a map, but while closing up they are vivid little units.
Somehow I feel the same with painting, and probably the reason why I chose painting–there is a history on the surface as I build up layers. It contains layers of time, and no matter what structure, style, or material the painting is having, the history is still there.