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China Love 01

The show in the Portland Chinese garden is in collaboration with Ian Boyden, a fantastic artist who has lived in China but currently based in the enchanted forest on the Oregon Coast. We met all of three days before our show was due to be installed, and immediately started to bounce ideas off each other to see if we could make something coherent from the whole project. Luckily there were a few good ideas which seemed to mirror each other.

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China Love 02

We’ve got two videos which coincidentally reflect each other. I have one of my spinning head, Lucid Mask, a self portrait which contains all the positive memories that I wanted to reinforce. In a dream-like way it rotates slowly at first, then gradually faster and faster.  Within the scenes there are a quite a few memories of my travels to China in 2009.

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Lucid Gorge, video still from Lucid Mask animation

Ian Boyden’s video is called Fish Immortal, also a self portrait, but this time a solid concrete cast of his head. This he that he put in a carp pond in Suzhou and filled the open mouth with fish food daily. The video shows the fish greedily kissing him all over, tinged with the limpid green waters and surrounded by elegantly rustling fins.

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Copyright Ian Boyden, Fish Immortal

So next to his video we thought it was apt to put all of my fishes, lined up as if freshly captured from the lake. My print, A Fishy Affair, makes a comical commentary on fish-human relationships. Well I guess we only need to think about mermaids to know that is has all been done before.

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China Love 04

In the past I have made a fantasy narrative love story about a man and a non-human woman who inhabit a strange garden space. She sacrifices her non-human identity to explore a relationship with him, and then tragedy strikes. So this series, which includes the China Love prints and the Love Knot series have been included in the show.

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China Love 03

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Love Knot 01

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Love Knot 03

Finally, I set myself a small challenge to carve in the garden once daily for eight days in July to see what would happen. The result was eight new prints (or four double spread prints), The Lansu Garden series which is a long narrative linocut about a garden space with little figures all leaping around, hidden in the bamboo shadows, playing in the lake, dangling off the pagodas, and trying to scale the walls. At the back door there are the north American maple trees to signify the transition between China and USA.

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To see these for real, please come to our presentation on Sunday 11th August at 3pm at the Portland Chinese Garden, Oregon

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