8 Apr — 3 May 2017 at the Flower Pepper Gallery in Pasadena, United States
Flower Pepper Gallery is pleased to present, Monologue, A Solo Show by Mandy Cao. This exhibition allows us to see a larger glimpse of an artist whose surreal work goes beneath the surface and explores the many different facets of human emotion. Inspired by nature, stories, and the things that touch her deeply, her paintings show us an honest look at emotions we have all felt. Each stunning piece encapsulates a moment of a different feeling and allows the viewer to have a cathartic experience as the figures in each painting process their own heartache, discovery, or hope.
Mandy Cao’s painterly technique transforms the environment of her work into surreal dreamscapes that feel all at once connected to nature and intrinsically internal. She uses re-imagined landscapes to capture feelings that we automatically associate with those places. For example, in one of her pieces for this exhibition, A Winter Without You, we see a figure huddled and crouched in an abstract arctic setting, with their reflection emerging beneath the icy water. Vulnerable and exposed, we feel what this character must feel as we remember the various times we have tried desperately to keep warm. On the other hand, in her painting Secret Place, are taken to a vast open space and see a lone figure standing at a distance on a hillside. Staring up at the moon and stars peeking through the sky, there is an immense feeling of dreamlike hope and wonder. In this solitude there is a secret dream that no one is allowed to see but in this place the dreamer feels safe to disappear and admire it again.
In the title piece for this exhibition, Monologue, we see two female figures, in an abstract world of painterly shapes and subdued colors. As one appears to comfort the other, it seems that their likeness in appearance suggests more at a second glance. This painting suggests duality and the paradox of emotion we all feel. All at once, our grief can be overwhelming but at the same time, there is something deep within reminding us that everything will be okay. We are capable of great emotion, even at times conflicting emotions, but it is this complexity that helps us to move forward and deal with our present circumstances at the same time.
Each piece in this exhibition is thoughtfully made to reflect the many emotions we as humans are capable of. Mandy Cao effortlessly captures these stories and beautifully portrays them in a way that has the ability to speak to the internal. Cathartic and true, viewing her work is like a deep breath. It’s like being able to see the feelings and emotions you’ve been carrying and realizing someone else feels them to. Even though each experience is personal and unique to each of us, some things are also universal and can be felt by all of us. This exhibition is a testament to that and reminds us sometimes the best thing we can do is have an honest inner Monologue with the emotions that make us human.