James Chen-Feng Kao is an emerging, Taiwan-born American artist. He recently returned from an artist residency in London, at The Florence Trust. His characters touch on his own identity – blending Asian and American cultures, as well as visual and literary references. He is also interested in the concept of blending cartoon-like characters with abstraction. The “Skullscape” is a pattern James developed where each shape is an abstraction of the human skull, so each shape has a wider part and then a narrower part. Each shape and color is different so the shapes are each unique but also all part as a whole pattern (similar to how the ink characters where each is unique but they are all part of a whole story/language). He mixes each color to be different, even if some are similar. Each character is distinct and unique. James received his BFA from University of California, Berkley, and his MFA from Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts in London. He has exhibited in New York and Europe.
In the artwork of emerging Chinese artist, James Chen-Feng Kao, he is interested in the combination of abstraction and "characters." He creates graphic characters and draws them using ink strokes inspired by Chinese calligraphy. He has created a pattern titled "Skullscape," which is a tessellation of geometric color shapes where each shape is an abstraction of the human skull; the top part of each shape is wider than the bottom part, and the shape is symmetrical. The "Skullscape" pattern is painted into his ink drawings as well as onto character sculptures. The abstract ink strokes and acylic color pattern add a layer of encoding, which draws the audience in. Jame's art lies in the moment of interaction between the viewers and the work: when the audience deciphers and realizes what they see is not what they expected.