Multitude of Fish
Multitude of Fish is an installation consisting of 1000 clay fish created within the span of eight months. Each of the fish is unique and hand-carved. In this piece, I touch on multiple layers of meaning through its process and how it’s experienced by the viewer.
I explored how things we cannot see like intention, emotions and thoughts eventually form our future reality. This idea is reflected in the creation process as each mark carved into the clay builds up to form the fish. And all the individual fish become an important piece to the overall installation. As the process is highly repetitive, it became a form of meditation for me.
For the past two years, I worked with the recurring image of water in my drawings. The images of water led to the use of fish to symbolize the flow of energy. These drawings were preliminary work that led up to this installation. In both the drawings and the installation, the fish moves through its surrounding space organically, leading the viewer on a journey. The spaces where the fish exist are reminiscent of the inner realm rather than an outer landscape.
About the artist:
Jenny Chen is a Chinese-Canadian visual artist who works in watercolor, pen and clay. Her work uses symbols to create otherworldly environments while considering themes of existentialism and spirituality. Her exhibition history includes the Small Arms Inspection Building (group), Living Arts Centre (group), Toronto Media Arts Centre (group) and United Contemporary (solo). She is a grant recipient from the Ontario Arts Council and Cue Arts Projects. Chen’s recent piece, ‘The Multitude of Fish’ was featured in the Toronto Star.