Tofer Chin : “Vivid” Exhibition at Commissary Arts

Confirmation, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 65 x 84 inches
Confirmation, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 65 x 84 inches

VENICE, CA—Tofer Chin’s latest exhibit “VIVID” is a neon explosion of potent energy in the abstract form of phalluses, yonic symbols, and copulation. Departing from the style of his earlier works, Chin uses the language of Op-art and the street to describe a world of electronic psycho-sexual energy. The titles of the works, some derived from Aphex Twin songs, draw us into an underground world of limitless experimentation and drug-induced hallucinations, while electro clash bursts from the speakers on the dance floor. This, ‘explosion’ of energy comes to us in the work from Chin’s neon palette with which he
carves out objects that are carefully layered atop surging black and white planes.

While borrowing from the aesthetics of Op-art, Chin’s works transcend the categorization as such. The works begin in the computer, where Chin constructs the layout, experimenting with color, form, and addressing the perceptual and relational issues of the various figures. Once Chin arrives at an image he
takes another step, translating the computer generated into a painted representation of it. This crucial step returns us to the material substance and technique of Chin’s painting, which from a distance appear like lightly painted layers coupled with airbrushed shadows, creating the illusion of depth bringing us closer to a Vasarely then a Yaacov Agam. When approached closely we see that the painted surface is tactile and visceral, the brush strokes apparent and the textured surfaces not what we expected.

The precision with which Chin applies the paint conjures images of the artist in a lab coat rather then the
painter smock. This allusion to science is imbued in the works and in the contextual link to Op-art that Chin
identifies with. We see in the precision of Chin’s paintings the pleasure. These latest works fascinate the way
a kaleidoscope does a child.
Tofer Chin, a Los Angeles native, has exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Barcelona, and
Australia. His work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Flaunt, Nylon, Trace, Big, Vice, Rojo, and Idn.
In 2006, Rojo published his first book of photography, Finger Bang. Chin was commissioned by renowned
interior designer Kelly Wearstler to produce an original painting for the revamping of Avalon Hotel in Beverly
Hills, CA. He is co-owner of PG (Plain Gravy) a lifestyle collective producing graphically bold surf-and-skate
inspired collections of men’s sportswear and accessories.

Commissary Arts celebrates its one-year anniversary with a reception for the artist hosted by Flaunt
Magazine on Saturday, September 13th from 7 to 10pm. The gallery is located at 68 N. Venice
Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291. Gallery hours are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 12-5pm, and by
appointment. For more information call 310-990-9914, or email [email protected]