Mimi Chen Ting at Art Beatus
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

Mimi Chen Ting is a native of Shanghai, China, who received her graduate degree from San Jose State University. She was a resident of San Jose, and showed her work in the Bay Area until the early nineties, when she moved to Taos, New Mexico. Since that time she has shown extensively throughout the West and in the Southwest. The latest among her forays to international sites is her Fall 2008 exhibition at the Gallery Art Beatus, in Hong Kong.

Tangles and Ties is a selection of crisply painted and graphically interpreted narratives of human adventure, based initially on Ting’s observation of the lives of her friends. Our expectations, unexpected obstacles and turns of fortune, our social, psychological and physiological challenges are laid out like a road-map that lacks the logic of topographical causality. There are clogged arteries, detours and misleading shortcuts, and paths that overlap but never intersect. The figure-ground relationship is one of foreground-floating-over-background, suggesting that we rarely achieve a fully integrated status with the landscape we attempt to navigate.

In some cases, Ting gives a clue as to what that terrain may be through the colors and large shapes that loom behind our trajectory. Some situations seem cold, almost hostile and impenetrable (urban?), yet others are warm and earthy. Still, the pathways she paints are smooth, graceful like a freeway interchange, and unmarred by real scarring. In the end, Ting may believe we (her friends) are privileged creatures that, for all our blindness and foolishness, sail off-course frequently but rarely founder completely. She clearly believes in human resilience.

It would be nice to project that as our interpersonal relationships can be repaired, so can our relationship to the earthupon which we blithely proceed in pursuit of our individual needs and desires.

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