Sophia Chai: ​Sight Lines at Rochester Art Center

Ryan Fontaine on the exhibition on view at the Rochester Art Center thru April 11, 2020.

In our image craving world based around the photography centric social media woven into our daily lives, Sophia Chai’s art pauses to consider photography’s inner workings of light and space. By doing so she questions the normalized perception produced by the camera and therefore all normalized and calcified modes of perception.

Chai’s process is performative and reliant on the parameters of the space in which she produces her art, her studio. Painting directly onto the walls and floors of the space, the corners turn into folds, large shapes expand and retract, all depending on where she positions her camera. Taking photos of the painted space, multiple photographs of the exact same painted walls turn into entirely new compositions of color and shape. The viewer might feel tricked by their own eyes, question what it is that they are really seeing, questioning the space and the sense of what they know or take for granted. The intention is to look closely at the issues of perception: how we see, know, and how we come to believe.