This will be Chow’s second solo show at the gallery and will focus on a series of new graphite drawings and collages as well as two new, double-sided works on paper.
Milano Chow’s practice engages the visual language of perceived architectures and framed narratives through graphite renderings and collage. Employing ornamental and illusionistic elements, she recasts the confines of interior environs and exterior structures, accentuating the boundaries between intimacy and exclusion. Pulled in part from film sets and architectural renderings, Chow’s drawings of domestic interiors and pierced façades hover indeterminately between reality and its construct. Building tension between private and public, these spaces are as much spectacle as screen, assured in their illustration and yet resolutely thin.
For her current show at Chapter, Chow indulges in the image’s inherent exhibitionism, while offering the viewer alternative access into these fictive scenes. Born towards a sumptuous flatness, these fragmented episodes assume voyeuristic viewing. At once an engagement with representation as pretense, the artist also attends to visibility as a social exchange. Solitary female figures recur through paned glass in almost continuous narrative, at times privately absorbed, while others suspicious of outside attention. These figures and the spaces they occupy exhibit an air of alienated intimacy, as though surveillance were a form of undress.
Within the context of these constructions, Chow draws out the systems of our own observation. Neither window nor wall, these works are paper architectures in form as much as feasibility. They are the impossible structures of the imagination, the exhibitionism of space and the modern subject laid bare: built up, broken down and revealed, but never resolved.