Interview with Christine Wu on PROHBTD.com

prohbtd interview wu

Christine Wu was recently interviewed by online culture website PROHBTD discussing her creative process, the emotion behind her work, and fun tid-bits like what famous person dead or alive she’d like to paint; visit prohbtd.com to read the full interview.

We’re also excited to share Christine Wu is now a part of the notorious Dean Collection.

Christine Wu Thinkspace

Opening Night of Christine Wu’s “Sleepless” & Linnea Strid’s “Love Me When I’m Gone”

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

New York-based artist Christine Wu and Swedish painter Linnea Strid packed Thinkspace Gallery on opening night, January 23, for their exhibitions “Sleepless” and “Love Me When I’m Gone”.  The gallery’s main room showing Christine Wu exhibits new work and includes a hanging installation of broken dishes; symbolic of the frustration, satisfaction, and swift remorse gained from such a spontaneous action.

Linnea Strid’s new body of work in Thinkspace Gallery’s project room is a collection of artists who sent in their images submerged or drenched in water for Linnea to paint. A collaborative effort as Linnea did not direct the artists in how to take their photo, many of the artist she worked with on the pieces showed up for the opening. You can read more about her inspiration for the show in our interview with the artist.

Both exhibitions will be on view till February 20th, please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website for additional details.

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Opening Reception Linnea Strid

Opening Reception Linnea Strid

Opening Reception Linnea Strid

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

Christine Wu and Linnea Strid Opening Reception

 

Aaron Nagel in Thinkspace Office

Aaron Nagel’s work is concurrently on view in the Thinkspace office. He was surprised to have come to the show for Linnea and Christine, and find he had his own mini-exhibit in our office. You can view additional photos from the night on our Flickr account and Facebook page.

PRESS + Additional Photos

Arrested Motion: Linnea Strid – “Love Me When I’m Gone”

Christine Wu featured on Juxtapoz.com

Juxtapoz Christine Wu

In just a few hours Christine Wu’s “Sleepless” opens at Thinkspace Gallery. A solo exhibition in Thinkspace Gallery’s main room, Christine Wu’s latest body of work is one part a love letter and second explores all the things that keep you up at night – real and imaginary. Visit Juxtapoz.com for a preview of the show and artistic background of Christine Wu.

“Known for her subtle tonal palettes, and exquisitely precise line work, Wu’s new works are darker and more muted than her previous. This aesthetic shift is Intended to capture a feeling of isolation and emotional strain,” – Juxtapoz.com

Interview with Christine Wu for “Sleepless”

Christine Wu Interview for Sleepless

Christine Wu’s “Sleepless” takes over Thinkspace Gallery’s main room next Saturday, January 23rd. We had the opportunity to interview Christine Wu to find out the inspiration behind the exhibition and how she has grown as an artist. Please join us at the opening reception for “Sleepless” from 6 to 9pm, January 23rd.

What is the inspiration behind the upcoming exhibition?
There are a lot of parts to this exhibition since the ideation of the work took some time to incubate. There’s a part of it that’s a love letter to a specific someone who will never realize it. Another part is in the title, Sleepless, as a reference of the things that keep you up and go bump in the night, real and imaginary. And yet another part is the idea of PTSD and how we hide the things we find hurtful or embarrassing and the different ways that they may manifest, whether or not we chose to allow it. In all my work, there’s a discussion between intimacy and space. How someone occupies a space, and how their body language changes the mood of that space.

What does a day in the studio look like? When are you most creatively inspired?
I always try to set a routine, but it rarely ever works. I like to think that I work at art as a 9-5, but it’s more like a hurricane, where you can see it coming from afar and you don’t do too much about it, then it all comes crashing down and you find yourself scrambling to find which pencils haven’t been broken. Typically, I’m most creative when I’ve just come out of an emotional shit-storm.

Christine Wu Interview for Sleepless

How do you think you’ve grown as an artist in the last 5 years?
I have matured emotionally and come to terms with limitations in society. Five years ago I would have told you that I wanted it all and I wanted to do everything, and though that’s a fine thought, it’s just not possible. Every day in our lives we make decisions that closes and opens doors, and there are simply so many things that we will never be able to experience. My technical skills have also tremendously improved, as it always will with 5 years of continuous practice. I plan on continuing to grow in the coming years and to create more conceptual work as well as establish concrete ideas.

There is a movement in your work that is disjointed but fluid at the same time, how did you come to develop this style?
It’s an examination of memories and the way we move through time. I have a faulty memory when it comes to my adolescence, and my memories and dreams blend together to the point where I sometimes mistake a dream for a memory. We never remember things exactly as they were, there will always be some kind of fuzziness here and there, I think simply because we can’t focus on and experience every single thing around us. The disjointedness comes from the feeling of wanting to experience everything and not being able to. Hesitation with a tinge of regret.

What do you feel is the biggest misconception about being an artist?
I get the feeling that many people see being an artist in extremes, that it’s either fun, easy and full of parties, or that we’re constantly, horrendously tortured. There are moments of both, like nearly all humans, but most of my existence lies numbingly in the middle. People want to see the wild, crazy creative so that they have a story to go along with the art. There’s this great segment that Willem de Kooning did when he was being recorded for an interview. A documentary was being recorded while he was doing this interview and he made a big show about his process and he wildly flung paint on a canvas. After the interviewers left he turned to the documentarians and asked them if they really wanted to know how he worked. Of course they said yes, and they watched him put a single stroke down, then walk across the room and sit in a chair, whereupon de Kooning revealed that he sits in said chair for most of the day while figuring where the next stroke should fall.

Christine Wu Interview for Sleepless

What is your creative process, do you develop the idea first and then take a reference photo or does the photo shoot inspire the ideas?
My process is very organic, where everything informs each other. I’ve never been a person who does thumbnail sketches for my pieces, and I’m quite horrible at doing them if I was forced to.

What were you listening to while creating the work from this show; podcast, music, Netflix?
Most of the time I was working in silence. I have a hard time concentrating if there are too many things going on at once, especially when I’m working (I’ve even unplugged the internet on multiple occasions). When I was listening to music I had PJ Harvey, Chelsea Wolfe and Laura Marling on heavy repeat. Oddly enough, I don’t typically listen to too many female artists, but it was fitting for this body of work.

Christine Wu Interview for Sleepless

How do you push through moments of self-doubt?
Tears. Lot of tears. And writing. I am constantly analyzing and reflecting on myself. My journal is my therapist and I’m brutally honest with myself and critical of my abilities and contributions to society. People who never experience self-doubt should be checked into a mental institution for extreme narcissism and sociopathy. I’m an empath sponge and I absorb the feelings of everyone around me. If I’m not in a calm environment, the self-doubt can be crushing, especially since I give a sincere effort to consider everyone’s opinion. It all makes me feel very stupid, more frequently than I’d like to admit.

Is your work a reflection of personal emotions or observations?
My work is definitely more emotional, but that’s an easily misinterpreted scenario since our emotions are informed by observations. It’s all personal in the end, that’s something my work will not be able to escape.

If you knew when the world would freeze for an hour, what would you do during that time?
Enjoy the silence.

Christine Wu Interview for Sleepless

Peak Into Christine Wu’s “Sleepless” Works In Progress

Sleepless Christine Wu Works In Progress

Christine Wu‘s latest exhibition “Sleepless” will be taking over the main room of Thinkspace Gallery in just a few weeks. “Sleepless” will open January 23rd and run till February 20th, showing all new work from the New York-based painter.  We pulled a few shots of works in progress from her Instagram to give you a sense of the pieces that will be on view. Please visit her Instagram account to scroll through more!

Sleepless Christine Wu Work In Progress

Sleepless Christine Wu Work In Progress

Sleepless Christine Wu Work In Progress

Christine Wu’s exhibition “Sleepless” coming to Thinkspace Gallery’s Main Room

Christine Wu Sleepless

Thinkspace is pleased to present Sleepless, the gallery’s first major solo exhibition of new works by New York City-based painter Christine Wu. A figurative oil painter who explores the expressive and emotive possibilities of the body, Wu delves into the vulnerability of self and the haunted nature of human consciousness. Her evocative and sensual depictions explore themes such as nostalgia and metaphysical becoming, expressing ephemeral states through physical manifestations of subjectivity. Wu incorporates abstract gestures into her works, often dissolving edges and contours to conflate environments and disrupt the representation of bodies, splintering and splitting the cohesion of an illusory whole in favor of a more experientially realistic incoherence. These moments of abstraction, however, are always in service of form and figure. Wu is fascinated by the cyclical momentum of growth and decay, and by the literal and metaphoric complicity of life and death. Her paintings capture this ambivalence, revealing the ghostly remnants of a divided subject through symbolic figurative instability, redoubling and flux.

Wu is interested in memory as a subjective construct; a mutable and fractured consciousness that is defined by sensorial experience and recall. Stylistically, she expresses this intangible feeling of disjointedness through multiple vantage points, or moments, captured in a single temporal frame, not unlike double-exposure photography. This unhinging of linear time captures the conflict of divisive psychological states. As the title of the exhibition suggests, Sleepless invokes the disturbances of night, both real and imagined, and the suspended unrest or “world-weariness,” in the artist’s own words, that arrests the subject’s release into sleep. As with previous works, Wu’s new paintings are sensual corporeal excavations of a vulnerable and imperfect self, grappling with the interminable process of self-realization.

Known for her subtle tonal palettes, and exquisitely precise line work, Wu’s new works are darker and more muted than her previous. This aesthetic shift is Intended to capture a feeling of isolation and emotional strain, in keeping with the exhibition’s theme of nocturnal restlessness. Her subjects are women created from a woman’s perspective; conflicted, complex, sensual, wounded and ambivalent, rather than reductively fetishized. Wu is in search of raw emotional experience rather than caricature, expressed through the vicissitudes of the physical body. Formally, the new works explore texture and tactility in new ways, inciting a physical reaction and desire to touch, a desire offset by its implicit prohibition.

In Sleepless, Wu continues to stage these tensions between the intimate and private, the public and exposed. There is a quiet and understated, though undeniable, intensity to the glimpses of interior life the artist selectively reveals. Through her unique take on figurative expressionism, Wu’s visceral paintings remind us of the fragility, and resilience, of the human psyche, and of the unavoidable erosion and deterioration of all external and impermanent things. Wu’s splintered bodies in breach seem to suggest that the individual’s personal growth is inextricably bound to a series of imposed and elective deaths; a constant process of undoing and becoming, remembering and forgetting.

Christine WuSleepless
January 23 – February 20, 2016
Opening Saturday, January 23, 6-9pm

Christine Wu Sleepless Work In Progress Detail Shot

Detail shot of a work in progress from “Sleepless”