Locus Xiaotong Chen

Printmaking Department, Pratt Institute
Brooklyn, NY, USA

I have been working with rice since 2018 and have made several compositions in various printmaking media and mixed-media collage. Rice is a universal symbol. The significance of a grain of rice is minimal, micro and anonymous, but in a mass, the quantity transcends the minimal presence and makes visual and tactile impacts possible. I am intrigued by the translucency and the elliptical shape of rice — the compositions of rice project initiated from an idealistic imagination of a situation that rice lays on light table. The aesthetic approach to this project is scientific, musical and crafted. It conveys my interest towards methods of human interaction, social phenomena and human existence through simplistic graphic designs.

Entree of Sushi (diptych)
Entree of Sushi (diptych)
0 x 53 x 53 cm
Aquatint and chine-collé

Diptych of Entree of Sushi is a pair of etchings with chine-collé. This diptych plays with the macro-micro scale of the rice. The matrix of the works, the graphics shows imitation of clustering rice in realistic circumstance — chaos, manifestations of rice grains of whiteness against a black background. And contrasting to the naturalistic representations of the size, shape and juxtaposition of rice, the highly-idealized six-rice composition pulls itself against the background. The contrast between rationality and irrationality, control and chaos is central to this work. As human beings, we always intend to create mathematic systems to tame clustered things in order. Whether artificiality can dominate the power of nature is uncertain.