The beauty in nature is around us, and it waits for people to discover and interpret. Alexandra Chiou is an artist that explores the world with her unique angles and puts the mysteries together using one of the most fragile but versatile materials - paper.
Color and nature have been two fundamental themes in Chiou’s pieces. Nature has always intrigued and excited Chiou, as it is full of wonder. When she studied at school, she mainly worked with oil paintings inspired by primordial landscapes untouched by artificial structures. However, after graduation, Chiou moved away from oil painting due to limited storage and studio space, and turned to acrylic and watercolor on paper as a natural alternative.
As the years went by, Chiou experimented with collage. She created a method of making space between layers to create a three-dimensional space within her work. Her works are usually based on natural landscapes that Chiou visited and interacted with.
Chiou’s works focus on landscapes and organic elements. In her work, Infinite Tapestry captures this idea. The artwork is based on Chiou’s trip to the Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. Chiou describes the experience as something magical- an experience she has never had before, and this work emphasizes that mystique. Chiou’s recent artworks express her imagination through picturing desert and flora. Chiou’s works can be described as a puzzle piece, with each paper coming together to create a powerful piece.
Infinite Tapestry, Alexandra Chiou, 2020
The artist desires to connect people through her craft. She wants to spread the impact of art to others and lead others to feel empowered by art. With a vision to make her art more accessible, Chiou wants to reach out to people that might not have the opportunity to learn about art for various reasons. Having her work placed at museums, teaching online classes, hosting immersive art exhibitions, and organizing workshops are several ways Chiou wants to have her art available to those who cannot afford it. In these ways, Chiou intends to leave a positive impact on her world through art. So even as Chiou is putting the pieces of nature together, her influence can help and inspire others.
How do you choose and use materials?
“When I think about my process and materials, nature is something I’m mindful of and try to make a priority. I think about making my papers or using more sustainable papers. I reuse as much paper as I could. I have kept stacking paper for years in my studio, and I always find a way to use them. For instance, I’ll deconstruct an older painting that doesn’t feel complete to me, and after a while, I’ll find a place for it in a new painting I’m working on. That’s my way of trying to repurpose, reuse, and find a new place for pre-existing materials.”
How do you attach each piece of paper in your work together?
“When I’m layering my paper, I fold paper to get the various dimensions and spacing between each layer. I use glue to adhere everything together. ”
Have you ever thought about making paper by yourself?
“Yes, I have, and it is something I’m looking into currently. It’s still in the very early stages. I’m still researching how I will do that in my current space, but it is something I’ve thought about and hope to do in the future.”