Stella Lai, Summer, 2008, acrylic gouache on wood panel, 127 x 162 cm / 50 x 64 inches
Fat Children Ruined My Life
September 28 - October 26, 2008
Reception for the artist: Sunday, September 28, 3 - 6 pm
F2 Gallery is pleased to present "Fat Children Ruined My Life" by Stella Lai.
Having grown up as a Chinese in Hong Kong, once a British colony and received education in California, Lai's trans-cultural experience offers her a unique perspective on China in a world of globalization and westernization. Consumerism brings to the East the Western values, which people in China begin to admire and adapt themselves to. The common measurements for Asian beauty, for instance, are completely yielding to white skin, slim figures and round eyes. McDonald's and Coca-Cola become the new delicacy in Chinese diet. On one hand, development and over-heated economy rapidly exhaust natural resources; pollutions and distress in the ecosystem become pressing issues, which not only threaten China's environment, but also jeopardize the future of the planet of earth. On the other hand, China's own heritage is being subverted by the imported culture from Europe and America. For many years, Lai has relentlessly investigated the questionable impacts and consequences of China further engaging herself with the rest of world. The Javier Cocker's song inspired exhibition title suggests the conflicts and ironies caused by China's increasing desire for prosperity and wealth.
Taking from the elements of Tibetan thangkas and the principles of commercial design, Lai continues her ambitious pursuit for a distinctive visual language of her own in this body of 12 paintings. Sampling Chinese folkloric symbols and thangka icons, which are often used as visual support for practicing meditation and serve as a guide for contemplative experience, Lai creates whimsical imageries and delicious color palette to lure the viewer. But after the initial attraction, the viewer immediately discovers contents that are much darker and more complex. By employing similar connotations found in traditional Chinese art, Lai connects the quest for a better future with the consideration of the past. The most humorous motif is the arrangement of three beautifully rendered women. In Chinese language, when three characters for woman are composed together, it means deceitful or traitor.
Stella Lai's works have been widely exhibited in the United States. This is her debut solo exhibition in China. Lai graduated from California College of the Arts, San Francisco. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Stella Lai - Fat Children Ruined My Life Press Release as pdf-File 428 KB