In the vast diversity of matter, there remains a consistent pulse that guides existence in some form. The cycles of birth, growth, decay and death embody an inevitable flux and instability. Matter is constant motion, impermanent and transformative–stasis an illusion. The human race, nature, and the Universe are perpetuated through time, propelled by this pulse, groping toward the Unknown…
The Chinese interpretation of nature and its inherent energy, exemplified by shanshui landscape painting, has significantly influenced my outlook and practice. My mother is a Taiwanese artist specializing in traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy; from a young age, I was impressed by the value of meditative work, as well as the dimension of recording time and gesture in calligraphy. Through a poetic lens, shanshui paintings have the capability to surpass mere representation of the external world, reflecting our inner and outer realms. I am interested in the aesthetics and philosophy of Chinese landscape painting, in expressing the vastness and shifting rhythms of the natural world.
My work addresses these fluctuating, omnipresent forces within natural systems through a fluid dialogue between drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and film. It is an exploration of the liminality between seeming harmony and chaos, light and dark, obscurity and fleeting moments of awareness. Negatives and prints are painted with chemistry, pieces are sanded, folded, collaged, painted or drawn into. The hybrid dynamic becomes one of the sight and occlusion, revelation and concealment, juxtaposing one dimension with another, and creating ambiguities between them. Through chemical and physical interventions, process yields an emphasis on the materiality of the print. I am interested in the limitations of the material, creating abstractions that are in dialogue with the transitory, intangible, or degenerative. Through a multi-layered process, the images are in flux and undergo successive transformations from their original state, subverting the construction of representational truth or fixity.
Antonia Kuo received her BFA from Tufts University and attended the School of the International Center of Photography in New York City. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally. Antonia was a MacDowell Colony Fellow in 2014 and participated in CPW’s A-I-R program in the summer of 2015. Kuo currently lives and works in New York City.