Artist of the month, Raintree Chan, likens himself to Victor Frankenstein, which seems perfectly apt given his chosen technique of collage. Chan painstakingly hand-cuts various images from print sources such as magazines and flyers, and sorts them into stacks of trays brimming with cut-outs. This facilitates the instinctive, almost automatic compositions that characterise his collages, which are scanned and printed.
It is thus unsurprising that Chan cites Surrealist painter René Magritte as one of his influences. Surrealism was a movement that embraced the uncanny in the everyday through unusual visual juxtapositions, and to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality.” Similarly, Chan’s collages evoke an alternate universe, comprised of objects and figures familiar to us, but in new and unexpected ways.
The worlds that Chan creates seem immediately absurd, but on further observation is based on the idea of memories hidden deep within our subconscious. His works seem to inhabit a world of contraditions, with a child-like sense of innocence to his work that is tempered by a dark and alternative undertone; he presents an environment that we only see in our dreams, in our conscious reality.
Chan has a powerful command of colour relationships as well as composition, which give his works a strong presence and imbue the flat cut-outs with a sense of dimensionality. The visual effect of collage and photomontage - used extensively by the Berlin Dadaists such as Raoul Hausmann and Hannah Höch - is given a light-hearted treatment in Chan's pop cultural references to David Bowie, Liev Schreiber films and The Wizard of OZ, just to name a few.
A self-taught artist, Chan spends most of his time at his studio in Taipei. He has worked on projects in New York and Hong Kong, as well as had his works exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in Taiwan.
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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