RAIR | 2013-14
Derek Chan | Santa Fe, NM
Derek Chan (b.1981) was raised in San Francisco, California. After UCLA, Derek received his MFA from the University of Illinois, Chicago in 2007. Participating as a Monastic-monk, Derek worked in collaboration with Theaster Gates, for Gates’ contribution to the 2010 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Also, in 2010, Derek journeyed through the Four-Corners region of the Southwest, which provided inspiration for past works. In particular, a solo exhibition titled, A Way Of Life, presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. More recent exhibits include The Happiness Project, a collaboration with other artists from the Chicago art community; and a solo exhibit, All Our Relations, at Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago. Additionally, in 2014, Derek will have a solo exhibit at Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago.
My paintings, collages and ink drawings explore the interrelationship of symbols that are tied to generations of values, spiritual beliefs (past and present), and the power of supernatural phenomena. I’m best known for my work documenting a journey through the Navajo Nation, Canyon De Chelly and the Hopi Mesas, where I explored the lives and myths of these two indigenous people. The companion book, Cries and Whispers From the Salt Song Trail, offered a sampling of my black ink drawings.
While in Roswell, my work has taken on new dimensions with a focus on color and marbling techniques. The artwork The Big Bang depicts a large golden tower, representing trans-global corporate greed that meets its fate when struck by forces of nature. An ancient tale that continues to be relevant today and one that speaks to the disparity between rich and poor.
For the exhibition Causation, I am presenting a new body work influenced by my interest in cosmic cycles as referenced by the Mayan and other indigenous pre-conquest codices and glyphs. While working primarily in painting, past projects have included elements of performance and installation. For this exhibition, I will implement the use of video. I believe that translating the electrical stimuli of cosmic rhythm into image, music and sound can be therapeutic.