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Wednesday, Feb 06, 2013 - Canvassed | Art & culture

Christina Tsui captures nostalgia

The artist looks to a childhood pastime for her solo show 'Moon Rock Stone Skip'

By Alex Zaragoza
There's something romantic about skipping a stone across water. It’s a gesture that's had an influence on Christina Tsui, whose intricate drawings of skipping stones surrounded by negative space will be on view in Moon Rock Stone Skip at T.F.R. Gallery (1026 North Coast Highway 101 in Leucadia). 

The exhibition, which opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, is composed of a series of drawings of skipping stones that are "energized" by a large photograph of the moon taken by Tsui.

“Something about the moon and gravity I thought would highlight the movement of the rocks I drew," Tsui says. "There’s this whole idea of romantic landscape and how the action of skipping rocks is so romantic.”

Tsui grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and graduated from UCSD in 2012 with a degree in studio art. This is the 23-year-old’s first solo show. She began as a sculptor and still uses that medium in her process. For this show, she sculpted the stones and used the sculptures as models for her drawings. 

She admits her interest in stone-skipping is a bit odd, considering it wasn't really part of her childhood.

“That gesture in pop culture and film is romanticized because it holds ideas of boyhood and masculinity,” Tsui says. “I thought it gives interesting ideas of how humans relate to landscape and nature. I ask myself why, as an Asian woman, I'm interested in these western idealized actions. It’s nostalgia for something that is not my personal memory, but a collective memory.”

When it comes to her medium of choice, Tsui feels drawing is often forgotten by artists. It’s more a part of the process of creating and not part of the final project.

“I really like this marginal quality of drawing," she says. "It’s not usually in the forefront. People usually think of paint and sculpture when they think of art. Drawing is this preliminary thing when they sketch ideas.”

Drawing, Tsui says, can convey empowerment.

“The amount of lines and the intensity of line just through mark making demands authority,” she explains.


Alex Zaragoza writes about arts and culture. Email alexz@sdcitybeat.com.
 
 
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