Profile Graduation work
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What is your specialty, what makes your work unique? Or place your artist's statement.

In large paintings Tian Teng reveals intriguing scenes of everyday life in Dutch cities. Coming from China, her vision on the Dutch everyday is perhaps that of an ‘outsider’ or tourist. This allows her to reveal specific details that are of interest even to lifelong inhabitants, as she points her gaze towards those things that might, in their mundanity, go entirely overlooked. While her previous works, including drawings, prints and collages, came together impulsively, the series of large paintings she presents at her graduation are made in a concentrated manner, as she focuses on countless details, playing out scenario’s and narratives related to the spaces she depicts.

While almost always based on selfmade photographs, the most important feature of the paintings is contrast. By showing both the inside and outside of the spaces she paints at the same time, she reveals an interplay between dark and light, interior and exterior, and challenges the spectator to explore details and meaning within the paintings. At the same time, the paintings direct the gaze from outside to inside or vice versa, showing both a personal and more general perspective on how everyday life can be seen. This approach does not only result in rich, detailed scenarios, but also brings about questions about how our cultural background is important in how we regard the things we see everyday.

Text by Menno Vuister

What are your ambitions? What do you want to be in five years?

I hope that in five years, I could develop a more powerful handwriting of my own in painting. And still be proud of myself, be proud of my choice for art in the beginning.

What is the most important thing you have learned during your studies?

The most important thing that I have learned in HKU, is how to express myself with contemporary language on canvas, and being confident about myself and my work.