Interview: Muchen Wang
Luca Curci talks with Muchen Wang during MIXING IDENTITIES – CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2023, held in Venice at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello and the 6th Edition of ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR, at Medina Art Gallery.
Born and raised in a small city in the middle of China, Wang moved to Chicago in 2014 to pursue her art career. Her work is characterized by an abiding love, both for her craft and for the world around her. Even in her critiques of society, love remains the driving force that sustains her passion and creativity. With her art having been exhibited across the globe, Wang brings a unique perspective to her work. Her story, her love, and her authenticity are a powerful addition to the show and serve as a reminder of the universal appeal of art as a means of expression and connection.
Luca Curci – Which subject are you working on?
Muchen Wang – My area of focus revolves mainly around the subjects of love and joy. I cherish the beauty of small moments, such as the movement of the sun casting shadows, the flow of water into rivers, and the bubbling of soup on my stove. My latest work, “Summer,” which will be showcased in Venice, embodies my love for nature and the season, as well as my fond childhood memories. In this piece, I captured the essence of a lazy summer afternoon when the sun slowly moved every shadow in the room. In the image, a mother can be seen dozing off while reading a book, with a 2-liter bottle of Coke making popping noises. Meanwhile, her child screams at the fan, attempting to block out the noise while also imagining herself in the jungle with the cool summer breeze. The child’s half-scribbled drawing book and crayons add to the small mess in the room. This artwork is a tribute to my favorite season on earth and my cherished childhood memory, as well as a love letter to my mother. My previous work, such as “Daylight,” also celebrates the theme of love – the love of longer days as summer approaches, the leaves growing thicker, and the sun drawing nearer to us.
LC – What is the trigger that leads you to paint?
MW – I would say that my emotions are the driving force behind all of my creative pursuits, including painting, drawing, and writing. Painting, in particular, serves as a powerful outlet for me, especially during times when my emotions are overflowing and I feel a need to share them with others. Through painting, I am able to find a sense of solace and comfort, as the process allows me to delve deeply into my thoughts and feelings. In a way, it is a form of self-healing and self-care. For example, when I worked on my graphic novel “Hotdog,” which tells the story of a young teenager coming to terms with a traumatic experience that happened to her friend, I was able to reflect on my own experiences and find peace with my past. Ultimately, painting is a deeply personal and meaningful form of expression for me. It allows me to connect with myself and others in a way that is both powerful and profound.
LC – What are the three hashtags essential to define your poetics that you could not give up?
MW – The words “Love,” “Summer,” and “Queer” hold a special place in my heart. They inspire and motivate me in my creative pursuits. Love, in particular, is the driving force behind everything I create. Summer is my absolute favorite season. I love the intensity of it – the heat, the waves, the lush greenery. There is a palpable energy that comes with summer – everything is heightened, from the sensations of hot and cold to the weight of objects. I strive to imbue my work with that same energy and intensity. The word “queer” has always held a certain fascination for me. To me, it signifies something that is always just beyond our reach – like the horizon where the ocean meets the sky. It’s a concept that we can choose to pursue or simply admire from afar, but it always remains just out of reach. In all of my creative endeavors, I hope to capture the essence of these three words – love, summer, and queer. They are my constant sources of inspiration, driving me to push the boundaries of my own creativity and create work that resonates with others on a deep and meaningful level.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
MW – I don’t think so. Personally, I don’t really believe in the concept of “style” as it all comes down to the content and storytelling in the end. For me, my work is like a story written with paints. I strive to convey my message as honestly and authentically as possible. I believe that my approach to creating art has remained consistent over time. The themes that I explore in my work, which are centered around love and joy, remain a constant presence. Ultimately, I believe that the content of my work is what truly matters, and that as long as I continue to tell my stories with sincerity and authenticity, the style will take care of itself.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
MW – At times, there is a sense of relief that comes with completing a piece of work. It’s comforting to know that I have expressed myself and shared my ideas with my audience. I always hope that my work will spark discussion and conversation between my viewers and myself, and finishing a piece means that the conversation can finally begin. Other times, completing a work fills me with pure happiness. I pour so much emotion and passion into my work that I see each piece as an extension of myself. Seeing a completed piece that reflects my thoughts and feelings brings me immense joy and satisfaction.
LC- What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
MW – I appreciate how the exhibition incorporates live performances, as it brings the artwork in the room to life. It creates a cohesive conversation among artists who come from diverse backgrounds and bring unique perspectives to the table. Through this exhibition, we are able to witness a beautiful exchange of ideas and voices, creating a rich tapestry of artistic expression.
LC- In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
MW – The central theme of my latest work is “Summer,” which is a reflection of my younger self. Many have noted that my work has a unique blend of innocence and complexity, rooted in authenticity. I believe that this is a fundamental aspect of my artistic identity, and it is a perspective that I will continue to explore and develop in my future works.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
MW – Yes, I would have to say that it was a really nice opportunity to present my work to a wider audience with diverse backgrounds. It was a chance to connect with people from different perspectives, and to have my art resonate with a broader range of viewers. I was excited to see how my work was received by this new audience, and I hoped that it inspired meaningful conversations and connections.
LC- Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
MW – Overall, I must say that the team is very well-organized.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
MW – To showcase artwork to a broader audience with diverse backgrounds, for artists.