Posted by Arden Zavitz, Art Editor for issue 4.2
One of the best parts of reading Gandy Dancer is viewing the visual art. The primary purpose of a literary journal is to provide literature to its audience. However, when visual art is included it can enhance the experience.
For Gandy Dancer 4.2 we were thrilled to feature Lei Peng Gan, who majors in painting at SUNY Plattsburgh. Lei Peng Gan is a painter as well as a print maker. Gan’s beautiful and diverse artwork exemplifies what we hope the entire journal does. To dig a little deeper into the mind of Lei and her creative process, I asked the following questions…
GD: At what point in your life did you first consider yourself an artist? Is there a story or experience behind this point in your life?
LPG: I first considered myself an artist when I found my own visual expression. My visual language is based on architectural structure and geometric suggestions of space and depth.
I’ve felt confined by my culture, and I needed to break these constraints.
GD: What is your preferred medium of art to work with? Why?
LPG: Painting is my main concentration. I enjoy the process and find it very meditative. My painting is a reflection of my subconscious and it is a way for me to visualize and understand my own awareness of myself within my art.
GD: Is there a creative medium of art you would like to pursue, but have not?
LPG: Photography and mixed media are mediums that I would like to explore.
GD: What inspired you to pursue an art track and art career?
LPG: In my culture art isn’t looked highly upon, but it is something that I realized I needed to pursue for my own expression and self-exploration.
GD: Do you have a particular muse or inspiration that influences your art?
LPG: I am inspired by material, medium and composition.
GD: Do you have a favorite artist? If so, who?
LPG: Robert Rauschenberg. His style and approach is unique and I enjoy his anti-aesthetic and messiness.
GD: Professionally, what is your goal? What is your dream job or what job would you like to pursue for your future?
LPG: I want to continue my artistic development in order to reach a professional level. It would be nice if at some point I could also teach at a college level.
GD: What do you like about your work? What do you dislike about it (if you dislike anything about it at all)?
LPG: I believe my work is unique, but then again I dislike my work because it is too personal. Sometimes I wish that I could make art for the sake of art without relation to myself or the viewer.
GD: How has your process of creating art changed over time?
LPG: My early work dealt was more representational; though the further I proceed in my studies, the more my work has simplified in a way that the viewer has to observe the content as though I’m speaking another language.
GD: What kind of creative patterns, routines, or rituals do you have in regards to creating your art?
LPG: For me there are no rituals in painting. The routine is simply to paint, self-critique, finish and begin a new work. This is the only pattern.