“…Virginia said, ‘Mimi Chen Ting’s oil monotype, …arrested my roving mind and held it as sure as if she held my head still in her hands.’”
Rick Romancito, The Taos News Tempo
A Little Background
I was born into a household headed by three women who had bound feet: Great Grandmother, Grandmother and Sixth Great Aunt. We lived together in an old house in Shanghai with a garret where all the children slept. One of my earliest memories was my initiation into the secret jar from which all sweetness flowed, to extract my very own bar of sticky crumbly brown sugar. Another was my stepping onto the sill of an open window beside my bed, to catch a cool wind on my face; I reached toward the patch of blue-grey sky, willing to fly. Voices behind me screamed, “No! Stop! Do not move!”
Those words became the resounding mantra for most of my upbringing. They were meant to save me from whatever misfortune lying in wait. In order to keep familial peace, I became adept at being still, and learned to thrive in stealth and silence. Imagination was my window for escape…
I am a reductive abstract painter. In work as in life, I am irresistibly drawn to distillation and simplification.
My work springs from a restive stream of consciousness to question and relate, to course through chasms, to draw back curtains and knock on doors, to plant seeds or to dislodge that which is stuck, to stir up ripples and make waves… all with a singular touch of brush on canvas making colors bloom. When colors and contours engage dynamically and emphatically, they can invite empathy, bridge disparities, reconcile dichotomies, and promise infinite possibilities. Their interactions may yet crystallize some of life’s most fleeting moments, or shine a bit of light on its darker shadows.
This meditative and mesmerizing practice ultimately liberates and restores; I am grateful to travel this path, and privileged to share its harvest.
“No artist is pleased… There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” — Martha Graham
“We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”
— Henry James