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Senior Art Exhibit 2007: Xiye Chen

Senior art exhibitor, Xiye Chen

Xiye (Liz) Chen

My work is about design, patterns, and colors. I have always had a fascination with textiles and the beautiful patterns that are immersed within fabrics. I feel they not only reflect the aesthetics of a particular culture but also the history and the style that was valued at the time. I first started out with studying my own culture, China, and discovered that much of the art centers on the simplicity of repeated patterns, motifs, and colors. These qualities come together to create a beautiful piece of art that is timeless and full of style. Within these designs, I found out the importance of symbolism. Each pattern or motif represented something profound in my culture. The lotus flower for example represents purity and the color red represents wealth and good fortune. I try to consider these symbolic representations when creating my own work.

Once I was able to get a grasp of my roots and figure out the direction I wanted to take my art, I began to freely experiment with different patterns and designs. Most of my patterns are self-constructed with inspiration drawn from books or real-life textiles. For the most part, these designs are from my own imagination and are reflective of the type of person I am at the moment. If I feel colorful, my work is colorful. If I am inspired by the spring, I will include flowers and fruit motifs. If I am feeling experimental, I will include something bizarre and out of the ordinary. My goal is to move towards simplicity within the intricacy of design and color.

I try to let my culture shine through every piece of work in some form or another, literally or expressively. I try to include a little bit of individualism into these works as well. Being a Chinese American, I am proud to display the influence that my upbringing in America has also had on my artwork. Hence, you might also find some pastels and Western motifs scattered throughout my work among the Eastern symbolism.

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