We exist in-between identities, in-between states both physical and unseen… blooming, falling apart, and starting the cycle over again. The work I create is a study in conscious and unconscious impulses and how they reflect a state of identity that is fluid and impossible to hold onto. I mainly use acrylic ink – pouring, mixing, washing – as I alternate between stages of steady meditation and frenetic mark-making. In the past, I used flowers as a starting point to later abstract into an exquisitely tense oblivion. Now, I start with the oblivion and see what forms reveal themselves from within.
There is an East Asian heritage that permeates my work, through the calligraphic strokes and references to natural landscapes. This influence was never a conscious decision. On the contrary, I was raised to prioritize my Western-born identity as a pathway to success and financial stability, the American Dream. I find myself being ever more drawn to the aesthetic sensibilities of my ancestors even though their legacies remain a mystery to me. My mark holds the energy of their lineage and the unnerving feeling that a filial connection is possibly forever lost. Each piece is a part of the psychological journey, an effort to map out a sense of self that is fully realized.
Everything Is Different Now
The Gaps Between Us
Christina Kwan is an Atlanta-based artist known for her abstract and floral works on paper as well as large scale murals. She was born and raised in Florida and moved to Atlanta after graduating from University of Florida with a BFA in Drawing. A decade and many different career paths later, the work she creates now is an ongoing exploration of her Asian-American identity and the internal struggle of feeling incomplete or existing in-between, having to reserve space for a variety of imposed cultural influences. Calligraphic brush strokes obliquely refer to her East Asian heritage, acting as a yearning for permanence and a search for ancestral ties. The movement in her compositions hold a delicate tension, somewhere in-between action and rest and embodying the myriad of dualities we hold within.
Artist Website: www.christinakwanart.com