Patricia Chow

Region: MFA Annual

City / State: Los Angeles, CA

I am a Chinese American woman painter from Southern California. My paintings derive from the traditional Chinese brush-painted calligraphic mark. Real or imagined text is written in cursive running script in oil paint on the canvas as an underpainting that defines the basic compositional structure. Then the writing disappears under the clothing of Western abstraction, applied in chunks with a palette knife, creating the “furry” texture that is characteristic of my work. The process erodes the linguistic function of the marks, mirroring the cultural loss that immigrant families face in a transplanted condition; removed from an original context, subsequent generations reinterpret old meanings according to new terms that must fit into a wider context. In the milieu in which I live, my ethnicity and gender have no claim to minority status. Yet the label of minority woman persists. My work is one way that I seek to resolve this contradiction.