Xuefeng Chen, China and France

Xuefeng Chen's mixed-media work weaves a visual link between her native Yunnan in China, and Lyon, her adopted home in France where she has lived and worked since 2003.

Her work, admits the artist, is strongly influenced by her mother, the folklore of her childhood and the local traditions where embroidery was often the pastime of women from well-off families.

There is a sense of fantasy and escapism to Xue-Feng’s work, which partly draws from her experiences and memories of growing up in China, where fables and mythology are still, very much a part of contemporary culture. Through diaphanous textiles, that she lends strength and character via embroidery, the artist conjures magical landscapes festooned with spiritual and mythological scenes.

 

ABOUT THE WORK

AIR, 2019
280 hours of hand embroidery Silk thread, cotton fabric
120x110cm

EARTH, 2017
Wood, brass, leather, silk
145x145cm


“In my village in Yunnan on the border with Tibet, I often saw mothers and grandmothers embroidering under the big tree in front of the village, symbol of life,” recalls the artist. They were there to show and share their skills and creations. As a result, Chen grew up surrounded by patterns and colored threads. She would often play with other children around this place. “Sometimes we heard about legends, flowers, birds, animals, and ethnic symbols. Sometimes, the tree would be the focal point of a glorious, colourful community ritual with the space and the people beautifully decorated.” These memories of ‘happiness’ that date back to the artist’s childhood became her first source of inspiration for art. “Today, after living in France for 16 years, I myself have become a mother. I felt the loss of this primitive human culture. I wanted to restore this technique and bring it back to life by finding it a place in our everyday. I hope that this artistic expression has no boundaries between 'Traditional’ and 'Contemporary’. I hope that these two spaces can complement and nourish each other.” 

 

For more information, images and purchase enquiry, please email skene@ruekothari.com 

Website: xuefengchen.fr
Instagram: @xuefengchen_art

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