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Louisa Chan

Artworks

Artist Statement

Louisa Chan

Louisa’s childhood was one of two worlds. Residing in Sydney, her parents raised Louisa and her younger brother with traditional Chinese values. Surrounded by the sun-drenched open spaces of Australia, Louisa would dine on Chinese cuisine and celebrate Chinese holidays. In 1988, Louisa and her family travelled back to China for the first time for the Chinese New Year festival. The trip was an eye opening experience for the then young Louisa who felt an instant connection to the landscape and culture of her parent’s home. Many of her paintings were directly inspired by the memory of this journey.

In 2007, Louisa received her BFA from National Art School in Sydney. Previously, she had studied Business at University of Technology in Sydney. Twenty years after her first visit to China, Louisa and her mom returned. This time around Louisa got a chance to meet her Chinese relatives with whom she spent Chinese New Years. She felt an almost spiritual connection to the landscape of her ancestral land as well as a familiar understanding of the culture. That New Years Eve, as Louisa and her cousins watched thousands of fireworks light up Beijing’s sky, she decided to pursue a career as a painter.
Like her childhood, her artwork is of two worlds. Her bright and vibrant colors call to mind the vast open spaces of Australia while the subject matter often displays a keen knowledge and connection to Chinese popular culture and landscape. Her work acts as an investigation into her own origins; seeking to bridge the gap between the two parts of herself. While the motivations behind her work may be deeply personal, the results explore themes that are universal. In her words,

‘My paintings are about the innocence of discovery. They speak of life and the rediscovery of beauty in the things around us. I wish to capture moments of tranquillity, including touches of the imagination, calm, sensitivity, light.’

As an Australian born Chinese, my Asian heritage has a strong influence on my work; my desire to investigate my cultural heritage has shaped my expression and my response to nature. In my paintings I bring together these two cultures, the sublime nature and the power of space in Australia informs my work and I am drawn to the exuberance of popular culture of China and its people.

On February 10, 2011, Louisa opened her first solo exhibition “Lanternes Rouges” at the Pave D’Orsay in Paris. Louisa’s paintings have been purchased by private collections in Paris, New York and Sydney. She has been a finalist in the Portia Geech Portraiture Prize in 2011 and 2013.

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