Cloris Chen is a Chinese artist who currently lives in Toronto. She has recently graduated from University of Toronto Scarborough, double majoring in Studio and New Media. Her recent work has engaged subjects as diverse as identity, as well as social, political and cultural issues, often referencing her Chinese background. Her work explores the varying relationships between Chinese culture and fine art, all stemming from her personal experience. She has diverse approaches to making art: installations, public, curatorial and web projects, and videos. Chen always strives in her work to impact the viewer with the content and aesthetic in her work. After graduation, she will keep working on video format and explore various themes connected to humanity.
Why did you get involved in this project?
I got involved with this project because I really cherish the opportunity to collaborate with other artists. I can pick the part that I liked and see how the result turns out is quite unusual and exciting. Sometimes I received totally different style than I normally would do with my footage.
Did the one week turn-around for the work help or hinder your creativity?
I would say it really helped me to create my creativity. After doing lots of projects, everyone has their own style and it is easy to stay in our comfort zone. So, when you see someone changed or reworked your raw footage, you would feel uncomfortable at first but also feel inspired at the same time.
How did you feel about working on a project where you didn’t know who you were collaborating with?
This project is like an adventure. After a long journey, you may feel that it was not what you expected but you also have a chance to dig into the treasure. Everything has two sides, on the one side the mysterious collaborators makes me feel excited, on the other side it makes me feel disappointed. Especially when you give a clue in your footage and hope your collaborator can get your concept.
Has being involved in the project changed your thoughts on creativity?
Yes, the format of the whole project was quite interesting and creative at first. Before, creativity to me is more based on what I already have and what I like. Sometimes I do not know how to get out of my comfort zone. This is a great chance to make your work different and you can also get the feedback from other people.
If you worked on several videos, what kept you coming back for more and how many did you do?
I did two projects in total. I created words and also contributed some visuals. I loved coming back because there was little pressure due to the short length of the videos. Additionally, I loved to see how people reacted to my words and images. I am not very sophisticated at sound so this was a great opportunity for me to see how others do things with sound.