Backstreet Chengdu

Backstreet Chengdu 后街 成都

Paintings by Shelley Stefan 雪莉·史蒂芬‌

October 17-November 14, 2016



Backstreet Chengdu is a series of paintings by Shelley Stefan, UFV Associate Professor and Department Head of Visual Arts. In 2014, Stefan travelled to Chengdu, China to participate in a Faculty Exchange with the Fine Arts College of Sichuan Normal University.

During this trip, Stefan was inspired by the buzzing culture of the alleyway behind campus. From dawn to dusk, this lane, like many Chinese backstreets, was alive with the vibrant, yet peaceful business of Chengdu people and the constant whiz of electric bikes, mopeds, and 3-wheelers.

This body of work is based on the artist’s memory of this collective, kinetic atmosphere. The colors reflect a collage of the visual streetscape and the gilded metal leaf aims to venerate the warmth and beauty of the everyday person in motion. Homemade walnut ink is used on Canadian oak panel to serve as both a compositional base rooted in nature and as a symbol of convergence between 2 cultures and countries.