Lives and Works: Singapore
Chris Chai (B. 1987) is a full time practising illustrator and artist and a graduate from the School of Visual Arts, Illustration Program in New York City (2013). Being a product of a religiously diverse society, Chai’s work is in essence, a constant exploration of stories. Stories of antiquity, stories heard in modern time and stories that have yet to be told. As such, themes prevalent throughout his work are those of modern belief systems, ancient mythology, folklore, imagined worlds, parallel universes and the occult. He often incorporates geometric shapes, decorative ornamentation and repetitive, patterned elements into his imagery reflecting the artist’s perpetual investigation of spirituality. Through his work Chai hopes to expand both his awareness and imagination by creating fictional worlds where gods, men, monsters and all manner of being exist on a unified plane of existence.
Employing an almost mechanical approach to his art-making, Chai’s work also explores the nature of obsessiveness and the desire for perfection. He believes that life in essence is chaos and mystery yet an integral trait of humanity is the need for control. To have mastery over that which we do and do not understand. In creating his pieces, he attempts to reconcile the two and find the sweet spot between chaos and control. Perhaps it is there, in the illusive in-between spaces that one can truly have a glimpse of the divine.
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