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My Butterfly

Series 2024 


Three radiant paintings adjoin into one kaleidoscopic view fenced behind solid cutouts. In Mediha Ting's latest opus, “My Butterfly: A Multicultural Exploration of Identity and Transformation,” canvases are remodeled into an installation that echoes the structural semblance of an arched window. Each panel is an Abstract Expressionist painting that has been consolidated into one single installation, seamlessly combining Ting’s two modes of operandi and expanding the artist’s survey of cultural perceptions and the enigmatic recesses of the subconscious.

Two sturdy rectangular forms anchor the base, crowned by a semi-circle, all adorned with meticulously crafted black paper stencils reminiscent of window bars. Beneath this visual symphony, the canvas breathes with gestural acrylic strokes akin to Ting's 2019 series, "Shine Through the Darkness,” where the artist reverently explored the ethereal interplay of light amid profound obscurity, emblematic of an odyssey emerging from the depths of darkness. Aligning with this ethos, "My Butterfly" intricately weaves Chinese ink and a vivid composition reminiscent of Abstract Expressionism, melding divergent artistic traditions. Ting's dynamic strokes bear the fervent spontaneity of "Chi," converging with the avant-garde essence, summoning forth atmospheric realms where solemn black brushstrokes echo the gravitas of calligraphic techniques that once nourished the Abstract Expressionist flame.

The assemblage of individual canvases into an installation serves as a tableau vivant of Ting's adeptness in utilizing installation as an artistic medium, juxtaposing the macrocosm of history with the microcosm of personal narratives—a parallel to Ting’s 2022 series, ”Dialogue through Time with Giuseppe Castiglione,” a thirteen-piece set probing intricate facets of multiculturalism in Chinese sociopolitical history under the context of Globalization. Through expansive installations, Ting extends an invitation beckoning voyagers to navigate and ponder the subconscious of an individual’s existence in the interwoven global tableau.

Preserving attributes belonging to two critical series in Ting’s oeuvre, “My Butterfly” brings forth pictorial representation beyond pigment and strokes and now metamorphoses into three multicultural windows. During the global pandemic, the home transformed into an allegorical prison, and the window frames echoed the bars of confinement. Leveraging these frames as potent symbols of societal structures, hierarchical orders, religious paradigms, and diverse social fabrics, each painting encapsulates a person and a butterfly, embodying their subconscious realms. “My Butterfly” unfurls as Ting’s continued conduit delving into Freudian constructs such as desire, guilt, life instincts, death instincts, and expands such inquiry with each canvas serving as a visual ode to the manifold stages of human development as delineated by Erik Erikson.

An evocative reflection of Erikson's eight stages, each stroke, each motif, represents the nascent trust forming between the self and the world, juxtaposed against the looming shadows of doubt and apprehension. The canvases brim with vibrant hues intermingled with stark, somber tones, revealing how Ting masterfully captures the tension between self-assertion and the fear of social censure. Emerging as a thematic crescendo are Ting's deft strokes forming patterns of decorative window bars. Here, the series becomes an artistic testament to the dichotomy between creative initiative and the shadows of self-reproach. In reconciling the weightiness left behind by the global pandemic, Ting encapsulates Erikson's contemplation of an individual's burgeoning sense of purpose and the moral quandaries entwined within, creating a series that divulges spirits of a marked time.

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