Monday, October 11, 2010

Opening Day - Paper Works & Relief Works

Stan Chan's "Paper Works & Relief Works" opened today, prompting visitors to explore and ponder the layers of created and archived history, or just consider life's collections of cat food labels, bus tickets, and washers. Contact us if you'd like to see the show for yourself.

About the Show:
The idea came from an article I read about an old man who had been living in this shack for over sixty years. He lived in the town called “Locke,” a Chinese community in California. He lived alone. Cold drafts blew through the chinks of his shack. So to keep himself warm, he would wallpaper it with newspapers, magazine pages, calendars, and any kind of paper he found around the place. Through the years the walls became thicker and thicker. Locke is now a ghost town. He is gone and his shack is collapsing. From photographs I saw big chunks falling off the walls I thought those chunks of glued paper were not only beautiful but it gave a glimpse of his world.

I have been collecting papers from my mother’s house in East Oakland, from the household recycle bin, my vacations in Asia, and on the streets while going back and forth from work. I’ve glued the bits and pieces together and drew on them. Also I wrote forgettable stories on them and sometimes they would be overlapped with new stories.

About the Artist:
Growing up in East Oakland, my world was a couple miles radius. Except for the occasional trip taken to the barber in Chinatown or to see relatives in San Francisco, my World was in the house, the fenced front yard and backyard, and going to and from school. Me and my sisters big adventure were to walk 2 blocks to the grocery store and another block to the variety store, sometimes to buy but most of the time to be fascinated and to discover things of the outside world.

My parents were immigrants. They were able to buy a house in the 1950’s. The house was Victorian. The furniture was Montgomery Ward and everything was makeshift. MY parents and uncle who lived with us were junior carpenters making the house fit their needs. I dug holes in the walls, in the mattress, in the backyard, burying my treasures. We played, ate, slept in that house. A generation later, I’ve seen the bigger world, but in my dreams, in my memory, my mother’s house and the little yard that surrounds is still home.

I have made a series of small wall sections inspired by my mother’s house. Maybe it’s not exactly my parents’, but it could be relatives, immigrant people living in Victorians in East Oakland. The original walls were altered, repaired, changed by the newcomers. It showed layers on layers of its past history. Artifacts in the walls exposed left behind by the inhabitants to show that they had once existed.

Do come visit Mauve? to see "Paper Works & Relief Works." At the end of October, Stan Chan will be exhibiting his work at the CCA Alumni show at the Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica and in January will be exhibiting his work at Ruth's Table in San Francisco.

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