An emerging artist that graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in 2012. She will be finishing off her Education degree from University of Toronto in 2013. Sylvia Chan attended the Visual Arts York program at Unionville high school. After having won a scholarship from the school, she went to study at Chelsea College of Art and Design in England, London. There, she was exposed to the various ways in using her medium and in thinking creatively. After studying one year there, she decided to go to Concordia University to further her studies. She has been painting for most of her life, as well as having arts exhibitions as early as her high school years. Throughout her university years, she has had numerous shows in Montréal and Toronto. One of her achievements, include being picked as one of the top two students from the Fine Arts Department from Concordia University for the Hermitage Young Artist program to represent Canada in St Petersburg, Russia , along with five other emerging artists from Canada. One of her artwork was also included in the Top 26 Defining Moments Exhibition which toured from coast to coast in Canada this year.
One prevailing question that arises in my mind is, ''How do we associate ourselves with one another knowing that all that we have in this lifetime is impermanent?" All that you have including your body will eventually wear off; wither away and cease to stay as a whole. I want to investigate this human condition through exploring the landscape and figure. Earthquakes have been treated as miraculous catastrophes outside the ordinary course of nature and were taken as a sign of gods. It is believed that they represent something higher and of power. The landscape to me represents the human inner realm, where we have struggles, emotions and feelings. I am interested in creating physical landscapes that embodies human experiences and using it as a way in representing the transitions or tragedies in human life.
The themes I work with include the seasonal changes and the different cycles of life, such as birth, growth, reproduction, age, decay and rebirth. The landscape represents the fragility of our lives, and of our human bodies. These are represented in decay, rupture and adaptation to the surrounding. I believe that it is in nature that things eventually get run down, washed away leaving remnants of the pre-existing. Human thrives to shape and represent its environment but it has its own power that cannot be subjugated to human desires entirely. Nature can be seen to represent something higher and of power.
The process of the painting includes several washes and removing areas or parts. I start with painting a field with trees and I decide to wipe it away. Slowly through washes, it turns into a sea and there is nothing left of the prior landscape except remnants of it. Even though removed, it still has a part in making the whole. I believe that beauty is found in every thing; that includes the various layers of process found in my work. Each layer contributes to the end product or wholeness of the piece.
I am described to be a Wabi-Sabi artist who finds beauty in the imperfect and flawed. When the paint gets washed away, there is still a beautiful mess left behind, a beautiful aftermath of a chaos. The cycle of life that contains residues that speak for itself of the joy, and tragedy in time and in life.