San Francisco, California, United States
Work In Progress
Lauren Chai was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, being the first of her family to be born in the United States. Raised by her grandparents who are from South Korea, she grew up with dual cultures. Lauren was constantly drawing from a young age and having grown up with the computer generation, eventually got obsessed with digital painting in high school. She moved to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Art University in 2010 and after taking her first oil painting class, decided to switch majors from illustration to fine art having fallen in love with the medium and the fine art department. Now she has expanded to not just working with oils but sculpture, printmaking, and mixed media as well; playing with acrylic, ink, white out, watercolor, make up and etc. Lauren tends to work with a lot of unconventional mediums, items that are not usually meant to create art as well as items that are damaged or "broken". There is an attraction to the broken items as it pushes her to see and experiment in new ways.
My work centers around the theme of my missing mother. Mira went missing when I was 12 years old and as I got older I have uncovered more and more information of what has happened to her and my family. My work is an exploration of the “missing person” playing upon different possibilities and circumstances using Mira’s face as a recurring icon as well as my family members. I work in a variety of mediums including oils, printmaking, and mixed media as I’m exploring and learning about my mother, in parallel I am constantly exploring new methods with new mediums. Drawing from old photographs, and memories, the faces start to look ghostly, faded and range from realistic to abstracted. The photographs I have of her help me see her face and features clearly enough to help me learn about her and myself through analyzation, however my actual memories of her are slippery and hard to grasp on to which comes across in my work through the specific, and the unspecific. Coming from a traditional Korean household I integrate a lot of my culture into my work playing upon the cross-culture of America and Korea. As much as this is in a sense a search for my mother, it is also a message for her--to let her know that I care.
2015 BFA Academy of Art University
2015 Academy of Art University Annual Spring Show, 2nd Place Contemporary, Juror: Craig Nelson
2014 Academy of Art University Annual Spring Show, Director’s Choice, Juror: Craig Nelson
2014 “Femme Fatale”, The Royale, San Francisco, California, Curator: Trevor Martin
2013 “Faces, Self-Exploration, Eroticsm”, Public Barber Salon, San Francisco, California
2015 "STROKE", Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, San Francisco, CA, Curator: Kevin Moore
2015 “Spring Show Exhibition”, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA
2014 “Bijou”, The Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics, San Francisco, CA
2014 “Bio Collective”, The Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics, San Francisco, CA, Curator: Daniel Segrove
2014 “Speakeasy Fine Art Exhibition”, 32 East Main St., Los Gatos, CA, Curator: Shari Flick
2014 “Spring Show Exhibition”, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA
2014 “Dirty Works”, Wicked Grounds, San Francisco, CA
2014 “International Women’s Day Ninkasi Night”, BrewLab SF, San Francisco, CA, Curator: Alison Dubois
2014 “Multiverse”, Revere Tattoo, Hayward, CA, Curator: Hiro Hayashi
2013 “Spring Show Exhibition”, Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
"LAUREN CHAI’S ‘DREAM OF THE FISHERMAN’S WIFE’," Juxtapoz Magazine, August 10, 2013, online.
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