HATCH Series No. 2 | Between the Concrete

+ About the Work

I’ve been working closely with painting, drawing, installation, and recently started producing video and sound pieces and printmaking. My work is often process based, involving image and material manipulations in the form of repetition.

In my art practice, I'm interested in the sense of alienation and anxiety individuals experience directly through their body and vicariously through their social encounters. The fast pace of the contemporary urban setting has made inter-personal interaction and knowledge acquisition transitory, fragmented, and drifting.

Social media has become the primary source of news where the line between the private and the public becomes blurred; in which the seriousness and the entertainment are interwoven. Walking in the New York’s subway and down the streets, -thousands of people passes by, and yet their faces probably won’t stay within a second in our minds. We go to parties, where we meet new people, have their contact, but might never contact them ever after. Skyscrapers trap us in those criss-cross streets, making it hard even just to to have a clear view of the sky above. Google maps easily locates us anywhere in the city, but it can never tell us the distance we are how far it is from us to our true selves.

We’re gradually devoured by the crowds, concrete buildings and the buzzing noises of the city, contributing to an overwhelming sense of powerlessness.

In the work of the “Time in a Portrait,” I want to portray the anxiety, led by a gradual distancing from our individual identity in the process of social alienation, by dissecting and rendering the same portrait over and over again with tonal variations. The process presents a state of the in-between, in which you’re nobody but at the same time can be anybody; in which one loses contact with one and another but also never been closer.


Tao Xian was born in China, where she received her BFA from the China Academy of Art. She is currently pursing her MFA from Parsons.