Redux printmaker, Xiao Xin Lu is currently exhibiting her work at the Flagship Art Gallery, 475-A East Bay Street, until April 30, 2012. Xin’s mixed-media monoprints are inspired by her childhood memories and recent travels to her home country of China. Her work imbues a sense of longing for a place to belong.
We had the opportunity to talk with Xin today. Here’s what she had to say.
Your work explores the relationship of place and identity. Can you tell us what inspires you to contemplate this topic? My family moved to the U.S.when I was 7 so I did not know much about Chinese history or my heritage. This body of work is about my exploration into the past especially the circumstances (i.e. China’s One Child Policy) surrounding my parents’ decision to immigrate to the US. This series of prints arise from a need to capture, locate, and secure my past. I use images of China and the United States, the East and the West, my relocated childhood and adolescence, my oppressed gender and race, as a representation of the journey in my continual search for a place to belong. Though the lines and dots on my maps are simple and plain, they are powerful enough to connect my childhood to the present, embody my search for home, share the struggles of my gender and race, and communicate what words simply cannot.
Where did you study art? What was your concentration? I went to Vanderbilt University with a double major in Studio Arts and Psychology.
Did you always know you wanted to be an artist? Yes, since the third grade.
Who are your favorite artists/why? There are so many artists who I admire and love, but my favorite one is Van Gogh. My first memory of wanting to become an artist was after seeing his work in my third grade art class.
If you’re not printmaking, you are…. hanging out with my husband Kam, testing out new recipes, wandering the streets of Charleston, working at Umi Japanese in Mt. Pleasant, and playing at the beach.
Favorite quote? “Art is what poetry can’t describe, poetry is what art can’t picture.”-Anonymous
Favorite local restaurant? I love Poogan’s Porch and 82 Queen.
Favorite art publication? I like the Charleston Art Mag because I like to see what local artists are producing.
Your work is very poetic. Do you have a favorite poet/poem? This is not a poem but a line from one of my favorite books, The Little Prince:
“If you love a flower that lives on a star, then it’s good, at night, to look up at the sky. All the stars are blossoming.”
What do you love most about being a part of Redux? I love how supportive everyone is at Redux. I feel very lucky to be a part of it.
Future goals? I’m preparing for a show at the City Gallery in May, so my current goal is to create a cohesive body of work for it.