The University Museum and Art Gallery collaborates with Chen Xi on the exhibition Chen Xi: So We Remember. This catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
The paintings illustrate important events that have shaped our modern world. The artist created this series of contemporary images to commemorate, to document and to provoke thought. The show presents her preliminary pen and watercolor drawings along with the finished oil paintings. Meticulous in her research and true to both the documented incident and the domestic details, Chen Xi creates historical paintings for our present and future generations. Her method directly relates to contemporary life and to a society that is informed and influenced by modern-day media. Interestingly, the painter does not simply depict a historic event, but frames within a TV screen each episode of her sequential and international narrative. By presenting the paintings within the TV's glass, they become screenshots linked to a specific moment in time and space, as well as to the living room setting where the news would have been seen.
Chen Xi's connection to her audience is as multifaceted as the international community viewing the paintings. Individuals are reminded of the broader implications and specific details of the political or social events being depicted. In concert with this, viewers are drawn in, sometimes uncomfortably close, to the domestic interior within the work. The artist's dialogue recalls and represents a moving tribute to the events.