An Interview with Chloe Wing

06 December 2016

Part of the newly formed Young Contemporary Talents section of The Ingram Collection, 'Paper Cage' by Chloe Wing is a recent acquisition from the MFA fine art degree show at Wimbledon College of Art. We'll be showing the piece in the Art Fund Prize Gallery from 10 December - 29 January, so we had a chat with Chloe to find out more about her work. 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and why you decided to pursue art?

I have always been expressive ever since I was very young. I started to dance and sing when I was 5. I have also studied many subjects in the Arts such as English, graphic design, fashion, children's books, card design and song writing. I guess it's just who I am and it has always been natural to be artistic. I was lucky that my parents always encouraged me too.

Your paper cage artworks are beautifully intricate. What’s the process that you go through to make one?

The process is very slow as I hand cut everything I do. From my smaller pieces to the large installations. It is all about having a close relationship to my work. It is almost like a performance in a way. Paper Cage took 4 months to complete.

When I get a vision of an idea, I sketch it and then cut it out immediately. I usually draw it out in pencil first in a general sense, but I always change things along the way as I cut; starting from one corner and working my way down. What I do is intuitive and also meditative. I'm usually thinking all the time, so cutting is therapeutic for me. It is repetitive and takes my mind off things.

How do you want the viewer to feel when they experience your work in person?

All I want from the viewer is a response. It is a humane piece. I'm trying to promote emotion. I think emotions are not valued enough in our society and a stigma is attached to some of them, as if it is a bad thing to express them; especially fear, upset, anger and depressive thoughts. But they're just as natural as happiness. 

It would be great if the viewer could feel or see something of the original meaning, which is that it is about isolation and a human/ psychological cage of some sort. But in art sometimes the beauty is personal interpretation as well.

What were you inspired or motivated by when creating the piece Paper Cage (2014) which will be exhibited at The Lightbox?

I knew I would make this piece before I started my 2 year MA course in 2012. It was one of those 'flashes of inspiration'.

This piece is personal to me, and my work is fed by my own experiences of feeling shy, anxious and inadequate. It is about the difficulty of expressing oneself and being self-conscious in the world. It's filled with conflicts, about feeling safe and secure within a cage, our own little worlds. This cage is nurturing yet destructive. I find it fascinating how restriction can be a comfort because it is familiar.

Do you have any other projects or mediums of art that you are currently working on?

Ever since Chris Ingram bought my piece 2 years ago at the Wimbledon [College of Arts] degree show, I have been working on a collection of light and shadow paper-cutting installations called 'Beautiful Cages'. I would love to show them all together one day.

I'm so grateful to Chris for believing in what I do and it really encouraged me to make more. I love to show my work in galleries. I think that's the whole purpose for me; the audience is so important because it is essentially about people. Although it's exposing feelings of alienation, it is really about connecting with others.

Paper Cage by Chloe Wing will be exhibited in the Art Fund Prize Gallery from 10 December 2016 - 29 January 2017
Free entry | Donations welcome

For more information on Chloe, visit her website www.chloewing.com

All images © Chloe Wing

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