Kevin Chin’s gently disorienting paintings connect distant lands and cross-cultural references to question how we find our place in the world. His unmistakable compositions, assembled from fragments, explore how we piece together postcolonial identities and navigate global flows. He reframes landscape conventions, to interrogate how land rights and belonging are constantly contested, ultimately imagining new territories.
Kevin’s paintings are instantly recognised by his inventive use of colour, bringing signature warmth and compassion to pressing social themes. Richly layered with translucent glazes, he employs this slow working method to ‘feel his way through the image,’ teasing the meaning out of disparate elements into a cohesive vision. This imbues the paintings with emotional charge, and his skill with traditional hoghair bristles keeps his precise brushwork always expressive. The large-scale sweeping vistas are immediately atmospheric, and reward close inspection with the most meticulous of minute details.
Kevin redeploys the historical lineage of grandiose painting, but from the perspective of those minority groups that the art institution has excluded and objectified. In this way, he reclaims the oil-on-linen canon for the marginalised, to revise grand narratives in contemporary art.
Kevin writes his new body of work:
The five new paintings made for Gippsland Art Gallery explore how divisions between metropolitan, regional and rural Australia have shifted in light of world events. My paintings merge disparate cultural elements from across continents. Thus till now, I’ve championed fluid notions of place beyond all types of borderlines. These new paintings explore how the past few years have changed how we must now see distance and borders.
Kevin Chin is the winner of the Albany Art Prize (WA 2018), the winner of the Bayside Prize (Melbourne 2015), and has shortlisted for the John Leslie Prize at Gippsland Art Gallery three times. Kevin has been received many funding grants for his practice and has spoken on various discussion panels including at ACCA, done ABC radio, and multiple podcasts. His artworks can be found in the collections of Parliament House, Artbank, Royal Automotive Club of Victoria, City of Albany, Bayside City, Nillumbik Shire, and La Trobe University Museum of Art. Chin grew up in Naarm / Melbourne, where he continues to live and work today. He is represented by Martin Browne Contemporary, Gadigal Country/ Sydney, and THIS IS NO FANTASY, Naarm / Melbourne.
This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, and by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
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