September 2, 2009

Profile: Ying Kit Chan

The drawings are massive, two-paneled pieces stretching across eight feet or so of the floor in Ying Kit Chan’s office at the University of Louisville, where the Hong Kong native is a professor of art. They are dark, heavy renderings of the coldest American landscapes, our tracts of industry. There are open fields poked with telephone poles hoisting wires, obscured by wild, obsessive strokes of black. The absence of color is striking, appropriate; his commentary on post-industrial rural America is difficult to miss.

But Chan is moving in a new direction. Two, actually: The first is a reflection of our modern age, where Chan will use a computer program to generate random images with which he will create a pastiche. The second is environmental, working his established style to put forth images promoting sustainability.

“I like to think, and I like to reflect about what art should do,” he says. “I’m interested in philosophy and concepts as well. I believe that an artist is an intellectual.”