by Jen Graves
on Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Courtesy Fountainhead Gallery and the artist
The grapes of Larine Chung.
In 2007, when I met her, Larine Chung was a 28-year-old art-school graduate from Hong Kong who said art school left her with no idea how to be an artist. She would go into her studio and just sit there.
It is not necessarily the case that art school claims to teach artists how to be artists, but then again, if it doesn't, we are back to discussing what art school is at all, which was the subject I wrote about in a piece called "Art School Confidential," when I met Larine. She had moved to Seattle to study in the strict classical atelier of Juliette Aristides, at Gage.
I don't come across Larine all that often, but I'm always glad when I do. In person or in correspondence, she's a fascinating hybrid of extremely humble and irreverent in the least laborious way.
I love the title she put on her latest group of paintings, depicting ripe fruits on trees (clementines and pears and quince). The title, The Search for Self, seems honest. She is trying to find ways to show something that's really hers, having arrived in a world that was already old when she got here. I appreciate her struggles, common to many artists whether their art looks like hers or not. Maybe check out the show.