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    Play — Solo exhibition by Jolene Lai, held at Thinkspace Art Gallery.
    Published:
Series of new works for Play, my recent second solo show at Thinkspace Art Gallery.
Showcards front and back for solo exhibition Play 
Concept sketch for The Attic
The Attic | acrylic and oil on canvas | 48 by 36 inches | 2014
The Attic, Detail I
The Attic, Detail II
Character development sketch
Concept sketch for Nightcap
Nightcap | acrylic and oil on canvas | 30 by 24 inches | 2014
Nightcap, Detail I
Nightcap, Detail II
Study For The Garden | mixed media on watercolor paper | 6 x 8 in | 2014
The Garden | acrylic and oil on canvas | 24 by 30 inches | 2014
The Garden, Detail I
The Garden, Detail II
The Garden, Detail III
 
Study For Flight | mixed media on watercolor paper | 6 x 8 in | 2014
Concept sketch for Flight
Concept sketch for Flight
Flight | acrylic and oil on canvas | 24 by 30 inches | 2014
 
Flight, Detail I
 
Flight, Detail II
 
Study For Heartbreaker | mixed media on watercolor paper | 6 x 8 in | 2014
Character development sketch
Concept sketch for Heartbreaker
Heartbreaker | acrylic and oil on canvas | 30 by 40 inches | 2014
Heartbreaker, Detail I
Heartbreaker, Detail II
Heartbreaker, Detail III
Thinkspace (Los Angeles) is pleased to present Play, featuring new works by Jolene Lai in the project room.

Lai’s work disarmingly extracts visual magic from the mundane repetitions of daily life, and from the familiar narratives that lurk in our shared consciousness. Like adult fairy tales, the artist transforms known situations from memory and the every day, building playful symbolic narratives through free association. Lai transports the viewer through a whimsical cast of characters and symbols, at times absurd and at others tragicomic. Her work often feels like a waking dream as the familiar is uncomfortably amplified through strange poetry.
 
The artist works primarily in oil and acrylic on canvas, or mixed media on watercolor paper, building visual tensions with highly detailed and dimensional areas set against moments of graphic flatness. This push and pull in her technical execution aptly reflects the thematic oppositions inherent in her work. They combine the known and the unfamiliar with seamless ease. An aggregate of contrariety, her works are hauntingly of this world and yet derived from a disquieting beyond. They emotively reveal the complex facets of shared human anxieties, desires and musings through surreal imagery that proverbially cuts to the more foreboding recesses of the familiar.
 
In Play, the artist will present five new works in oil and acrylic on canvas. The imagery is inspired by a nostalgic revisitation of childhood themes and toys, and features a female character faced with adult situations and impulses that are  mediated through the play things and fantasies of childhood. Just as the impulses of nostalgia are haunting, bittersweet and at times traumatic, so too is her beautiful escapism. Stolen hearts, flighty birds, larger than life friends and assailants, broken faceless loves and identities – Lai’s work tugs at our seams.

— Marieke Treilhard