Christine So

Christine So

Oakland, CA, United States

About Christine So

My works are always nature-inspired and nearly always monochromatic. Each one is an immersion in a single color, an ode to that shade. The Japanese have the expression "forest bathing" and I engage in a sort of "color bathing." To me, many colors is visually noisy. An image of shades of just one color exudes calm, balance and focus.

Having spent a decade carving block prints and practicing monochrome photography, monochrome is how my mind works. I focus on one color at a time, the balance of positive and negative space, patterns, lines and cutout shapes.

I am attracted to monochrome, much like the Colorfield painters of the mid-twentieth century were, and to other abstract painters who worked in monochrome and pattern like Alma Thomas, Simon Hantai, Agnes Martin, Anni Albers and Joseph Albers.

My recent abstract acrylic paintings of monochromatic patterns have a heavy contrast of positive and negative space in the way that cut paper collages and block prints do. I actually hand-cut the shapes out of adhesive masking film first and then decide the arrangement, rather like a mosaic on the blank canvas. Lastly I paint over and around the masked areas with either transparent ink or opaque paint. What begins as a collage ends as a painting.

The result of this method resembles a large monoprint or silkscreen on canvas, but a silkscreen whose stencil was constructed of 200 separate tiny pieces rather than cut from a whole. My unique process was inspired by the years of printmaking I have done, especially monotypes and linocuts. But I also draw inspiration from the cyanotype process of capturing silhouettes of objects, West African and Japanese indigo fabric dying, Simon Hantaï’s folded canvas paintings, and Henri Matisse’s cut-paper collages of leaves.

I cycle between the three mediums of printmaking, collage and painting, applying aspects and techniques from one medium to the other. After years making woodcuts, linocuts, etchings and monotypes, I now use the medium of cyanotypes to mimic techniques of multi-plate prints and use my prints to create collages on panel.

My abstract paintings are in turn influenced by the repeating patterns in nature of my botanical prints and also by the highly structured geometric patterns in my collages of cut cyanotypes.

My paintings, cyanotypes, etchings, block prints, monotypes, collages, and stone, clay and bronze sculptures are held in private collections around the world in the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, Australia and the United States. I live in Oakland, California, just across the bay from San Francisco, where I was born and raised.

Education

Institut Méditerranéen d'Etudes Françaises
Montpellier, France

California College of the Arts,
Oakland, California

Facultad de Bellas Artes: Universidad La Complutense,
Madrid, Spain

San Francisco State University, California
Bachelor's in Spanish,
Master's in English

Events

PUBLICATIONS

The Hand Magazine
issue no. 33
July 2021

Aeonian photography magazine
issue no. 4
May 2021

The Hand Magazine
issue no. 29
July 2020

FEATURES

Featured in featured in Saatchi Art’s collection “Shop by Room: For the Office.” Spring, 2021.

Featured in Saatchi Art’s “Scandi Midsommar” collection. Spring, 2021.

Featured in Saatchi Art’s “Design Trend: Maximalism” collection. Spring, 2021.

Featured in Saatchi Art’s ‘Shop by Room: For the Bedroom’ collection. Spring, 2021

Featured in Saatchi Art’s ‘Style Trend: Grandmillennial’ collection. Spring, 2021

Featured in Saatchi Art’s collection ‘Minimal Color Fields: Inspired by Frank Stella”. Winter 2021

Featured in Saatchi Art’s ‘New This Week’ collection of April 12, 2021

Featured in Saatchi Art’s ‘New This Week’ collection of January 25, 2021

Featured twice in Saatchi Art’s ‘New This Week’ collection of January 4, 2021

Featured in Saatchi Art’s ‘New This Week’ collection of August 31, 2020

Featured in Saatchi Art’s ‘New This Week’ collection of August 10, 2020

Featured in Saatchi Art’s ‘Pattern Trend: Stripes’ collection. Summer, 2020

Featured in Saatchi Art’s ‘New This Week' collection of April 27, 2020

Featured in Saatchi Art’s ‘New This Week’ collection of February 3, 2020

Featured in Saatchi Art’s ‘Monochrome’ collection of September, 2019

February 29, 2020
Oakland Technical High School Annual Auction
Oakland California

Fall 2019 Sale Lamorinda Arts Alliance
October 5
Lafayette, California

September 22, 2019
Lafayette Art & Wine Festival
Lafayette, California

July 10, 2019 "Conversations Through Art," an event organized by the North Carolina nonprofit Empathy Through Art which uses art to spark conversations about how to make our communities more dementia friendly. My donated painting about Lewy Bodies Dementia was displayed.

East Bay Open Studios
June 7 & 8, 2019
Oakland, California

Exhibitions

June 2021
"Relax"
Analog Forever magazine’s
online group photography exhibition

March - April 2021
“A Certain Kind of Blue”
Analog Forever magazine’s
online group photography exhibition

September - December 2020
California Dreaming, juror: Shelley Barry of Slate Contemporary Gallery + Art Consulting
Village Theater Art Gallery
Danville, California

March - August 2020
Aspen Surgery Center Exhibition
John Muir Hospital
Walnut Creek, California

June - August 2020
Oakland Art Association Summer 2020 Online Show
Oakland, California

April - May 2020
Facing Contemporary Issues
The Tides Galleries
San Francisco, California

April 2020
The Ground Upon Which We Stand
Abrams Claghorn Gallery
Albany, California

January - February 2020
Garden of Life (solo show)
Workstation West
Berkeley, California

January 2020
ImMigration 2
Self Help Graphics and Art
Los Angeles, California

January 2020
Annual Members Exhibition
Berkeley Art Center
Berkeley, California

October - December 2019
The Affordable Art Show
Village Theatre Art Gallery
Danville, California

October 2019
ImMigration
Gallery of Scuola Internazionale di Grafica
Venice, Italy

August 2019
Aqueous
Las Laguna Gallery
Laguna Beach, CA

July- September 2019
Imagined
ArtVale Gallery
Oakland, California

July-August 2019
Works on Paper
Webster Arts
St. Louis, Missouri

July-August 2019
Into the Blue
Village Theatre Art Gallery
Livermore, California

June 2019
A Warm Palette
Lindsay Dirkx Brown Gallery
San Ramon, California

June-August 2019
2019 Members’ Show
Richmond Art Center
Richmond, California

May 2019
Looking Out My Back Door
Main Street Arts
Martinez, California

May-June 2019
Coastal
Art Works Downtown gallery
San Rafael, California

April 2019
Art of Mind
Imurj
Raleigh, North Carolina