Tofer Chin :: Los Angeles 2003
Curated by Amber Abramson for four x four gallery and Otto Design Group
FOLLOW, an exhibition showcasing new works by artist, TOFER (Christopher Chin), explores unique ways of interpreting and questioning the ideas of identity experienced by individuals from birth to death. Please join us as we investigate the constructs of identity with TOFER at his solo exhibition, FOLLOW.
TOFER graduated from the Otis College of Art and Design in 2002. His recent solo exhibitions include "GenArt presents: Tofer" at Gallery 825, Beverly Hills as well as "Tofer" at Lather, Hollywood. Tofer's work has also been exhibited at F.I.N. Gallery in NYC, the Nike Blu House in Venice, California, the Mercat de les Flors, Barcelona, Spain, Beverly & Union Gallery, Los Angeles, Anno Domini, San Jose, California, NY Arts, NYC, Asian American Arts Centre, NYC, and IMC Gallery, Seattle, WA to name a few. Tofer's recent publications include 'Pictoplasma 2' by Peter Thaler, 'Nylon Magazine', 'Rojo Magazine', 'Art for the Street's Sake: Wooster Collective', Res vol.6 no.4, 'The Freedom Book' by Jimmy Kaufman, 'Big Magazine', 'Vapors Magazine', 'Beautiful Decay', 'SF Gate', 'Flux Magazine', and 'Stick 'Em Up: Scrawl' by Liz Farrelly.
TOFER on the subject of "FOLLOW"
This project began with my desire to make a toy.
Traditionally, a toy's primary function is to introduce and educate people of all ages on the social behavior of everyday human interaction through pleasure and enjoyment. In most cases toys are simplified and stylized to act as surrogates for the subjects and objects they have been created to imitate.
Likewise, the Russian chiseled nesting dolls known as Matryoshkas, continue to fascinate and inspire me today. Matryoshkas consist of a large oval figurine (typically a woman) that opens to reveal a smaller figurine that opens to reveal an even smaller figurine and so on and so forth. It is this element of repetition in the Matryoshkas design that interests me most.
Comparably, my recent body of work displays reoccurring images of cartoon-like characters that I have coined the "egg-men". The repetitious pattern of these "egg-men" in my paintings and sculptures mirror that of the legendary Russian dolls.
Although similar in physical stature, each "egg-man" is created with its own personalized facial expression completely unique from the next. These expressions are synonymous to study sheets utilized by animators to express different moods and emotions for their designs and creations. In my paintings and sculptures I characterize the "egg-men" in order to represent everyday people and the range of emotions and attitudes they are capable of possessing. This artistic styling is also evident in several animated series that imitate the perils of Middle American family life
in a virtual world of cartoons; such as critically acclaimed "The Simpson's" or "King of the Hill".
"Real or imaginary, cartoon characters serve to construct and validate identity," Vicky A. Clark, Comic Release.
The installation Follow consists of approximately 1000 "egg-men" with painted faces gathered together in an almost menacing formation. Follow investigates the constructs of identity and explores how definitive facial qualities aid in the delineation and differentiation of one individual from another, even in an army of look-alikes. Follow also questions the idea of identity as a self-procured construct that has been manipulated by elements of contemporary culture experienced by individuals from birth to death. Before we come to any conclusions about our own individuality, Follow asks, "How different we are from one another anyway?"
For more about TOFER, check out: www.kingtofer.com