Interviews | June 28, 2023 |

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Interview:  Vivien Luo
Luca Curci
talks with Vivien Luo, during VISIONS third appointment of CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2023.

Vivien Luo, a distinguished designer and independent artist residing in New York, brings an extensive background in design with over a decade of immersion in the field. Vivien’s exceptional work has garnered worldwide recognition throughout her career, earning esteemed accolades from renowned competitions like the Hermes Creative Awards, Muse Creative Awards, and Graphic Design USA. Her expertise lies primarily in user experience and digital design, for which she has received platinum and gold awards.

Nevertheless, Vivien’s artistic passion goes beyond her role as a digital product designer. She possesses a profound commitment to capturing the essence of societal and cultural evolution through her artwork. Fueled by this fervour, she has embarked on a series of artistic endeavours that draw inspiration from her formative years in her hometown and the influential individuals who have shaped her life. One of her notable artworks, titled “Magic City,” was exhibited with the Itsliquid group at the internationally acclaimed art fair “VISION” in Venice, Italy.

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Luca Curci – What are your thoughts while you create? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
Viven Luo – The inspiration for Magic City was sparked by my exploration of cherished old family photographs. As I delved into the captured memories contained within those images, a recurring theme emerged-my parents’ enchanting escapades through the city during their courtship. The tales my father shared about their experiences during that time struck a profound chord within me. It seemed as if the very essence of the city transformed into their grand stage, with their footsteps leaving an indelible mark on its streets and alleyways. In my mind’s eye, I could vividly envision my father immortalizing those moments of pure bliss with his camera, preserving their jovial adventures for eternity. Whether it was ascending Mount Gele to behold the breathtaking white orchids in bloom, traversing the river on a whimsical cableway, or leisurely strolling through the moss-covered stone paths of Ciqikou after a refreshing rainfall, their escapades seamlessly interwove into the vibrant tapestry of the city.

LC- What is the trigger that leads you to create a work?
VL –
I have always yearned for a means to pay homage to my mother’s memory, to celebrate her innate goodness and immortalize the moments of unparalleled joy that defined her life. She was a remarkable individual, brimming with kindness and a heart as pure as can be. Through her own compassionate deeds, she imparted upon me the essence of selflessness and taught me the true meaning of caring for others. I firmly believe that my mother’s spirit continues to grace the city, a place that holds an abundance of cherished memories from her time here. Her luminous smile remains etched deep within the recesses of my mind, radiating an everlasting warmth that touches my soul. It serves as a constant beacon, gently reminding me of the profound impact she had on my life and inspiring me to emulate her boundless love and compassion.

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LCWhere do you find your inspiration?
– In China, a renowned proverb aptly declares, “One side of water and soil nourishes one side of people, and people in turn formulate a cultural veil of the city.” This wisdom encapsulates the profound interplay between the environment and its inhabitants, where the city’s essence is shaped by its people, and in turn, the people contribute to the vibrant cultural tapestry of the city. Inspired by this notion, I drew upon my personal experiences to meticulously extract the quintessential elements of Chongqing. The city’s ever-changing terrain, with its hills and valleys, serves as a constant reminder of the dynamic nature of life itself. It symbolizes the resilience and adaptability of its people, who navigate the twists and turns of their surroundings with unwavering determination. Additionally, the iconic cableway of Chongqing stands as a testament to the city’s ingenuity and progress. Its presence intertwines seamlessly with the essence of Magic City, representing not only a physical connection between different parts of the urban landscape but also a metaphorical bridge between the past and the future. It evokes a sense of adventure and exploration, inviting residents and visitors alike to embark on their own journeys of discovery within the city. By incorporating these representative elements into the very fabric of Magic City, I strive to capture the essence of Chongqing and pay tribute to its remarkable inhabitants. The result is a fusion of the city’s unique charm and the collective spirit of its people, forming a tapestry that reflects the rich cultural heritage and the ever-evolving vitality of this remarkable place.

LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
VL –
In creating Magic City, I dedicated myself to merging the city’s imagery with my parents’ cherished photographs. It was a challenging yet experimental journey, where I meticulously arranged elements to evoke nostalgia and capture the essence of both city and family. Every brushstroke and click aimed to blend the tangible beauty of landscapes with intangible emotions from the photos. The project unfolded as I found inspiration in urban scenery and tender moments frozen in time. By skillfully blending colors and lighting, I brought my parents’ love story to life against the city’s backdrop. It was a labor of love, aiming to resonate with viewers and invite them into the enchanting world where city and family intertwined. The process demanded patience, perseverance, and a willingness to explore new artistic territory-a testament to creativity’s power to breathe life into the past while honoring the enduring beauty of both city and love.

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LC – How is your creative process?
VL – My collage work is a result of meticulously exploring old family photographs. Carefully selecting and cutting out essential elements, I embarked on a creative journey to recreate them within the city’s context. These scattered memories found a new home as they seamlessly merged with captivating city pictures. Through collage, I aimed to transcend time and space, weaving personal history with urban allure. Each element carried significance and untold stories. Blending these cherished fragments with the city’s energy, a nostalgic yet fresh tapestry emerged, inviting viewers on their own journey. The fusion of old and new birthed a harmonious narrative, blurring boundaries between past and present. Family narratives danced with bustling streets and landmarks, forming a mosaic of emotions. The city became a stage, where personal history found purpose, enriched by textures, colors, and images. I sought to honor the past while breathing new life into cherished memories through this creative exploration. The resulting collage encapsulates personal and urban narratives, sparking imagination, nostalgia, and a renewed appreciation for our interconnected histories and home cities.

LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
VL – The theme of “VISIONS” resonates deeply with me, as it encapsulates the profound exploration of the multifaceted aspects within our modern society. It encompasses the vast spectrum of social, physical, and cultural identities that shape our lives. I firmly hold the belief that as human beings, we possess an inherent desire to seek out deeper and more spiritually fulfilling experiences, even amidst the routines and mundane activities of everyday life. This belief serves as a powerful wellspring of motivation, constantly renewing and rejuvenating my creative spirit. To me, “VISIONS” represents a quest to unravel the layers of our existence, to delve into the complexities and nuances that make us who we are. It encourages us to challenge conventional thinking, to push the boundaries of our perception, and to embrace the diversity and richness of the world around us. It is through this exploration that we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the tapestry of humanity.

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