bLAh, bLAh, bLAh: Chenhung Chen & Snežana Petrović opens at LAUNCH Gallery
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bLAh, bLAh, bLAh: Chenhung Chen & Snežana Petrović opens at LAUNCH Gallery
Installation view.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- LAUNCH Gallery presents bLAh, bLAh, bLAh featuring Chenhung Chen and Snežana Saraswati Petrović and their immersive multimedia installation examining environmental and social issues prevalent today through their drawings, sculptures, and photographs.

The title reflects the inner and outer chatter experienced while bridging the artists' insights and perception with the current material world. This installation offers a nuanced exploration of the inner spiritual and philosophical mind space and the outer materialistic and social reality we encounter. Through their creative constructs, the artists examine issues of interconnectedness inviting contemplation of the human experience and fostering dialogue and understanding of important societal issues.

Chenhung Chen

I weave, bind, and crochet with industrial waste byproducts including cable, zip ties, electrical components, and purchased wire, to produce large scale sculptures, reliefs and installations which engages “weavings” of all elements into voluminous, interconnected, and sprawling forms. Crocheting is a skill I learned while growing up. While we learned it for utilitarian purposes, the repeating of the simple movements with my hands became a form of meditation: focusing on one single task and staying away from the looping mind. It is in this motion of addition, subtraction, and repetition through needlework that I work to portray something intangible.

I weave the thread of dichotomies like concord and dissonance, order and chaos, the subtle and the powerful. From these dichotomies, I’m working to make forms that deal with balance and portraying man’s unstoppable nature - the driving force that is bringing about this information age. However, even with all this technology, man still must grapple with the consequences of his human condition; one’s social structures, faulty institutional ideologies, and one’s inability to see oneself in others. Technology not only influences our lives, but also in some ways changes our humanity and disconnects us from each other.

Growing up in a Taiwanese society where Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism fused together harmoniously, the influence I absorbed causes me to put all these theories to test during the challenging times that we live in. My day-to-day practice is to search and experiment between theory and practice. And the process-oriented practices aim to find poetic essence in daily interaction with materials and nature. My work engages Taoist concepts of “Chi” and co-existence with opposing forces, as visually represented in its ancient craft traditions and culture, and that continues to inform notions of a modern Taiwanese American identity.

Snežana Saraswati Petrović

My art is an interplay between art, science, and technology, a lexical bridge uniting visual metaphors and societal realities. By harnessing the cognitive elements of science and the breathtaking advancements of technology, the true mantle of my work is in unveiling the fears associated with climate change and the infringement upon planetary boundaries.

As an immigrant from war-broken country (Yugoslavia), I search for the home that I have lost. The notion of "home" becomes multifaceted, transcending physical boundaries and encompassing the global collective. I examine how our understanding of home is shaped by global forces and the effects of environmental degradation. I create immersive, imaginary environments that explore the boundaries between natural and man or robot-made objects, crossing the delicate border between the structural and the natural, to provoke reflections on our shared global narratives of movement, belonging, and transformation.

Operating within a postmodern framework, I deliberately employ these materials as symbols of consumer culture, emphasizing both their visual prominence and their profound ecological impact. Through the juxtaposition of these disparate elements, I seek to challenge preconceived notions of materiality and explore the intricate relationships between consumerism, waste, and the fragility of our natural world. By overlapping these themes, my artistic practice serves as a catalyst for dialogue, inviting viewers to critically engage with the pressing ecological and socio-cultural challenges of our time. My interactive environments and artworks are intended to foster a collective responsibility in safeguarding our environment and reimagining the interconnected future we all share.

Chenhung Chen is a Los Angeles-based artist whose mixed media drawings, photography, sculptures, and installations navigate modernity through her transforming of mainly found industrial materials. Chen investigates physical, social, and spiritual structures and how they intersect in contemporary culture.

Born in Taiwan, Chen has lived and worked in Taipei, New York City and Los Angeles. Through these experiences along with artist residencies and international exhibitions, Chen situates herself between cultures and expresses her ideas from a global perspective. She received a BA from the Chinese Cultural University, Taipei, Taiwan, and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where she studied with Michael Singer, Ursula von Rydingsvard and Jackie Winsor, etc. Their engagements with architecture, wood and uncommon materials in contemporary discourse influenced her experimenting with the possibility of space and materials, including wires and electrical cables.

Her artwork has been exhibited across the United States and internationally.

Snežana Saraswati Petrović is a multi-media artist, curator, and award-winning set/costume designer who has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Stedijilk Museum in Amsterdam, and the 32nd University Olympiad in Chengdu, China (2020).

Her art practice shifted to environmental issues during the Pomona Arts Colony Residency under Judy Chicago (2002). She taught at CSULA and the University of Redlands and was Chair of the Fine Arts Department at CHC (1999-2022).

Snezana earned an M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine and a B.F.A. from the University of Fine Arts, Belgrade, former Yugoslavia. Her academic title is Professor Emerita in Arts.

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