Heading to the 26th floor 令我幸福的乐器

Scotland_edited_edited.jpg

2019

24cms (W) x 30cms (H)

Oil on Panel

Love it? Rate itDon’t love itNot greatNot badReally goodLove itLove it? Rate it

The subject of this painting is a very classically good looking Chinese girl in my office. She is well-educated and cultured, interested in art (quite classical art, particularly impressionist portraits of women).


So, I wanted to take this french-style idealistic concept of feminine beauty and give it an asian twist by dressing her in a Qipao (a tight fitting brightly patterned dress made famous in the 1920s, especially in Shanghai due to the dancing culture). I was then thinking about the contrast of these colourful individuals that I know through the workplace. People who have depth and hidden texture but who I know through a world of pinstrip suits and spreadsheets. So I thought it would be interesting to place this colourful person in the middle of the most boring, lifeless corporate context I could think of; the office building elevator. I actually wanted to make the dress she wore a lot more bright (some Qipaos are very ornate) but she preferred something a little more understated.


Then I got to thinking that many of the talented, creative and vibrant people I meet in the office are women; just as many if not more as the men. However, the office/work environment is still heavily male dominated, to the extent the masculinity dominates and obscures some of the genuinely interesting human aspects underneath. So I thought i'd put her in the middle of a bunch of solemn guys, as well as some people who you can't make out in the middle of the elevator. I wanted to give her a sense of confidence and stare directly at the viewer to contrast with the humble character I see many women adopting in the workplace.

这幅画的主人公是我办公室里一个非常典型的中国女孩。她受过良好的教育;有文化,有艺术修养(古典艺术,尤其是印象派女性肖像)。

我采用了法式理想女性美的概念,并通过旗袍(一种紧身带明亮图案的裙子,因舞蹈文化流行于20世纪20年代,特别是在上海)着装加以亚洲元素的对比。想到一个类似的对比,工作认识的很多穿着色彩各异的人,同时也是有深度又有平日看不出来的隐藏特质;平日共奏穿细条纹套装,埋头于各种电子表格里的人。所以我觉得把这个穿得花哨的人放在我能想到的最无聊、最没有生气的地方即办公楼电梯里会很有趣。其实,我本来想把她穿的裙子画得更鲜艳一些(有些旗袍非常华丽),但她更喜欢低调一点的。

后来我开始联系到,工作遇到的很多才华横溢,富有创造力和朝气的人都是女性。就算不必男人多,至少也和男人一样多。但是,办公室/工作环境仍主要由男性主导,在某种程度上,男性气质主导并掩盖了表面以外的一些真正有趣的人性面。所以我觉得把她放在一群严肃的家伙中间,还有一些你在电梯中间看不出来的人。我想给她一种自信感,直接与观众对视,与我看到许多女性在工作场所采用的谦卑形象形成鲜明对比。