Charles Choi: Transformation
July 20, 2017 - August 13, 2017
Reception: August 11, 7-10pm
Artist Talk: August 13, 1-3pm
My parents recall that as a child I seldom spoke, never played with other kids, and frequently ran away from school. My only interest, hiding in a quiet corner, was to draw and paint. It was the only way that I expressed myself.
My family migrated to Hong Kong from mainland China when I was about 10 years old. Forced to adapt to a new and very different environment, I acquired new survival skills for a much more competitive world. I transformed myself into a diligent student, and in turn, a hardworking businessperson.
In the midst of a bright career in my mid-thirties, my life course had changed again. By 2005, I had decided to quit the commercial life, and emigrate from China to Canada. After a life of running around the clock, challenges and calamities, the most powerful word pop up in my mind from time to time is transformation. Compelled to paint again, I transformed back into a life as a full-time artist.
My aim in this exhibition is to feature two phases of oil paintings that represent transformation. No matter how tough a situation is, how unbearable any unprecedented upheaval, how desperate life can be, we can always turn it around, look at it from another perspective. How You See the World Matters.
Charles Choi was born in Shanghai, China and immigrated to Canada in 1995. He learned painting at the age of 4, with a focus on western master paintings and their creation. In recent years, his focus has been on ‘Concrete Expression’ – the combination of fundamental painting skills, personal touch and a contemporary approach. He is a multi-award winning artist, both in Canada and China, including the “Best in Show” at the Society of Canadian Artists’ Members Annual Art Show in 2012. His work is in private and public collections across Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, Japan and China.
In Choi’s words, his intention is “to truly express the subject as it is together with my own inner feeling. My colors are sweeter and less violent, with richer & freer brushstrokes, representing the moment I paint”.