ArtXchange Gallery presents Tree of Life, featuring new work by Marcio Díaz and Chin Yuen. Both artists create vibrant abstract paintings that draw inspiration from the smallest details in nature – moss on a rock, flower petals, and fallen leaves – to express abstract and universal concepts. Díaz’s pointillism-esque color fields and Yuen’s geometric compositions also evoke larger, more mysterious concepts, ranging from physics and spirituality to personal childhood memories.
Marcio Díaz is best known in the Pacific Northwest for his colorful “Bubblism” paintings of rural landscapes, intriguing figures, and misty mountains. This newest series is an abstract, textural departure from his previous work. Over a background of painted ‘bubbles’ and circles, thick paint rises from the surface of each painting in points and stalagmites, ‘dropped’ on the canvas from the tube and shaped by the artist.
Diaz developed this unique texture from childhood memories of the sacred ceiba tree found throughout Latin America. Growing up in Nicaragua, Diaz would touch the rough, thorny bark of the ceiba, a tropical tree with great symbolic importance to the ancient Maya. In the Mayan language, Yax Che (“Green Tree” or “First Tree”) is a symbol of the universe and a route of communication between earth, the underworld, and the heavens.
Language has always been important in Canada-based painter Chin Yuen’s life. Having lived in six countries including Malaysia, Italy and Japan, her international perspective and love of nature inspires her latest series of work. Color, line and shape are combined in surprising ways, taking inspiration from a small detail or fragment of memory – a sunny day, a flower petal, or even decaying wood. Yuen finds freedom in moving beyond the literal. With her current abstract series, she challenges herself to unlearn the pattern of control she seeks in representation; thus, abandoning the language of anatomy, chiaroscuro, and storytelling.