Inspired by elements of Western cinematic traditions, each work in Chan’s new series of paintings is akin to a still frame from a film noir. We are confronted with scenes in tonal palettes of an imposing snow-capped mountain range concealed by blocks of colour, a forest of trees silhouetted in mist, crashing waves veiled by strips of light, amongst other atmospheric scapes. Each painting divulges as much as it obscures, and laden with a teetering expectation of what to expect after the fog clears, but Chan never reveals the next frame. The paintings are mise-en-scène to the vicissitudes of life, but Chan keeps the actors just outside the shot and never presents them.
Therefore what might have been just the background is thrust to the fore, quietly challenging the viewer to contemplate and celebrate the inconsequential and inscrutable, a very human experience that is often elusive and yet intense for Chan. The tension between the hyper-realistic rendition and mysterious glowing bands of light and neon shadows is palpable and interrupts the logical reading of the paintings. The truth is deliberately withheld and the transient qualities of light and silence are permanently captured in the paintings. In Light of the Ephemeral Silence gives rise to an almost cinematic experience of melancholy and of a temporal stillness in flux.