Renee Lai

Region: West

I work in painting and drawing, exploring the role barriers play in our ideas of belonging, security, and fear. Barriers are supposed to be sturdy and invincible, but they also evoke ideas of slipping through or in between, under and over. I play with the scale and permeability of the barriers, toying with where and how things can pass through.

An emphasis on line and repetition is present throughout my work—line as the delicate thing that connects while it divides, calligraphic line as the manifestation of my Chinese heritage, absorbed from growing up surrounded by cheap reproductions of Chinese paintings. My work moves between abstraction and representation to explore both the conceptual idea of barriers as well as the physical shape of the structures.