Images from the series “Scrolls of Memory”, 2010, serigraph, ink, gouache, pastel, and crayon.
Born into a traditional Chinese family in Taiwan, Carlina Chen emigrated to Canada in 1997. After graduating from OCAD University, she joined the Open Studio community in 2001.
Chen’s work addresses the cultural tensions that exist between her Chinese heritage and her English-speaking, Canadian identity. According to Chen, she “…has qualms that my features are Asian, my thinking is based on Asian philosophy, and my diet consists of Asian food; however, I speak English, read in English, and even dream in English – ‘I travel from an island to a continent; I rest in my own city.’” Despite this tension, Chen acknowledges that her dual cultural experience has enabled personal growth, enriched her life, and broadened her vision. She feels privileged that her practice in art provides a venue to express her living and working experiences in both Canada and Taiwan, whether these experiences are happy, sad, joyful, frustrated, numbed or overwhelmed.
Chen’s recent work combines traditional printmaking techniques with drawing on Japanese paper. For more examples of her work, please visit the Open Studio Sales Gallery.