The Chinese philosophy of yin-yang describes the notion of opposing forces being complimentary and interdependent in the natural world.
The 2022 Lunar New Year welcomes the tiger as the new zodiac animal, a creature that is both revered and feared.
In Chinese culture, the tiger is a symbol of power, strength and positive energy; the greatest earthly power and the physical embodiment of yang. In 2022, the tiger is in its water element. Water is understood to be the most yin in character of the five elements in nature.
Chen’s artwork, Contained, brings together these two elements of yin and yang, where both tiger and water share common opposing characteristics such as tranquillity, stillness and calmness, while also capable of demonstrating great strength, ferocity, and power. The artwork also includes narratives around the artists’ cross-cultural experience as an Asian-Australian.
About the artist
Susan Chen is a Chinese Australian artist, working out of her studio in Sydney’s inner west. Chen’s work explores the intersection of art, design and craft, currently focusing on the use of digital technology in the ceramic art making process.
Influenced by architectural models, historical and social artifacts, which represent and communicate a moment in time, Chen is drawn to the notion of the 'display’. In recent works, Chen has aimed to highlight the cross-cultural social experience of Asian Australians by using the object as a way of communicating these encounters.
Her work highlights the significance of the object in the ephemeral nature of the digital world.