During the early days of the pandemic, the artist longed for nature, especially for the mountains. They have always been her refuge and sanctuary during times of uncertainty, instilling a sense of peace, calm, and wonder. She hopes that viewers of the this work also find strength, healing, and empowerment when they are immersed in the magic of the natural world.
Ink and cut paper
Human beings are small and frail when confronting nature, but these characteristics also drive us to explore the unexplored worlds. For artist Alexandra Chiou, she uses her unique style to explore all of these unexplored worlds’ mysteries. In contrast to the spectacularity of the landscapes she creates, Chiou chooses one of the most common and fragile materials, paper, to create these scenes. She paints on paper with vibrant gradient colors and cuts them into various shapes to demonstrate all of the feelings and memories one has when they face remote nature. By stacking and rearranging in different ways, Chiou uses abstract and exquisite cutout shapes to represent the contours of landscapes and to create different thickness to bring the ups and downs of landforms to life.
With almost no realistic expression in her work, Chiou is able to create an untouched world, like a puzzle unsolved. The lines, shapes, and colors are the hints about what and where the sceneries could be. However, just like the best part of a puzzle is the journey of solving it, what those individual shapes represent is not the whole purpose. It is when you are intrigued by all of the collective details hidden in the familiar materials, gentle colors, and strokes that you are immersed in this imaginary world and find the power of quietness. This puzzle of nature ultimately leads the viewers to their own inner nature and peace.
About the artist:
Alexandra Chiou is a visual artist who draws on memory, landscape, and family history to create intricate collages that explore themes of uncharted terrains as symbols of hope, possibility, and new beginnings. She works primarily with layered hand-cut paper to create her dimensional collages. She paints, cuts, and arranges various shapes and colors as if piecing together a puzzle; each shape, line, and color is a hint, trace, and impression of nature and memory.
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