In the studio: Kevin Chin

Kevin Chin

22 May 2020

Fill us in on what you are working on at the moment..

My solo exhibition, Social Distance, will open at This Is No Fantasy on 7 July. When I started this new series, I was originally thinking about the claims that we’re all globally interconnected, yet there’s been a rise in feelings of isolation in our increasingly urban lives. Wow, has this taken on new significance with social distancing measures! These new paintings are about finding a sense of solace in a globalised world, and aim to capture the unique mood of this time.

Do you have any tips for people who are new to WFH?

Podcasts are great for ‘keeping you company’ while you’re on your own, I listen to them throughout long solitary days of painting – and they’re free! A couple of current recommendations are The Art of Authenticity, about the intersection between success and fulfilment (there’s a great interview with Angelique Power on race and the arts), Making Sense, where neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris analyses pressing contemporary issues (including the sociopolitical effects of Covid-19), and Modern Love, feel-good short stories from the New York Times read by great actors.

What are you watching, listening to, looking at …

I’ve always got music in the studio and post my best new discoveries on Insta, usually people of colour and LGBTQ+ artists that I love. Currently I’m reading Australian Foreign Affairs journal, last year’s issue called Are We Asian Yet? It’s a series of essays, tracking Australia’s European heritage and mapping our potential Asian future. A recent library audiobook I’d recommend is Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, an American writer with Hong Kong ancestry: a story exploring how the family that we’re born into, shapes how we fit in.

If there was one good thing that you hope to come out of this, what would it be?

I’m hoping people will see social distancing as an opportunity to look inward and find the calmness that’s within. I think the state of the world would be much better if we all did more meditation! As there has to be a tightening of national borders at this time, it’s also a chance to re-evaluate how we see our place in the world. And I’m a total germ-a-phobe so more sanitary wipes around the place wouldn’t hurt!

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