Light Space Intimacy-Small Scale Wall Sculptures Inspired by the Light and Space Movement

Statement of Light Matter, Light Threads, Screens, Screens II, and Painting Light Series

Inspired by the California Light and Space Movement, my iPad-sized wall-sculptures devise an intimate connection between the physical light, space, color and the viewer. Using various media such as embroidery thread, fluorescent paint or color transparencies, I create layered sculptures painted from digitally constructed images. The final forms lack traditional substrates in order to emphasize the physical complexity of the material themselves. The media are constructed on hard surfaces to further examine and challenge traditional painting materials and to emphasize the process of digital image-making. In the sculptures, spaces are constructed by digitally manipulating color and geometric shapes, as well as by physically bending or cutting the supporting structure; aura of light casts on the work itself or on the exhibition wall from the neon colors painted on the bended parts or on the reverse side of the work; or embroidery threads are wrapped on the pieces forming a glowing illusion as if they are tangible lights.

It is clear that these sculptures are influenced by the light and space movement, in which grandiose light installations often directly embed artificial light within objects or architecture, as demonstrated in works by Robert Irwin and James Turrell. Unlike Irwin and Turrell’s work in which the light itself often becomes the space and viewers feel the physical intensity that space can give, my small abstract sculptures are not about the power of space, but about the intimate relation between space and you, about the growing obsession with personalized digital gadgets, or perhaps, about our unrelenting love of beautifully designed objects.  Because digital advances have transformed how we interact with the word,  whether it’s the constant ring of a phone announcing an app notification, text, video, images, or email, moving images and sounds have overloaded our senses. There  are so much noises and hardly time for us to stop, gaze and enjoy a quiet moment of the subliminal beauty around us.  Thus, common motifs in my pieces include surprises of light, bright digital colors and welcoming geometric shapes. These spatial arrangements intend to encourage viewers to closely gaze at the work and examine it from different angles like exploring a newly acquired digital device.

light and space movement inspired small scale walls sculpture with red geometric shapes and yellow glow made by xuan chen

Light Matter Series