Yifan Qian

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    Yifan Qian, born in Zhejiang, China, in 1996, came to America in 2021 to pursue an MFA in Fine Arts Studio at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She completed her master's in 2023 and is now working and living in New York City. She is a painter (and photographer) who explores the concept of self and the relationship between the self and the universe.

    I create self-portraits within surreal compositions using acrylic paint, which record my state - spiritual and emotional. The paintings are symbolic and abstract in nature, allowing me to express abstract thoughts and emotions, as well as what I am going through at the time of making the art. Themes that I encounter in my paintings include love, relationship, happiness/unhappiness, and philosophical ideas about the universe and human existence. Self-portraiture, which is a big part of my work, allows me to come to know myself more and heal. An idealist and a believer of a Chinese concept that everything that happens in the universe is occurring in the brain ("本自具足"), I explore the universe by exploring my self. Also being a natural attention seeker and having had traumatic experiences in my childhood, I give all attention to myself and relieve mental pain through exploring self-portraits.

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