Even seeing Dominique Chan’s work for the first time, the viewer realizes that this visual artist doesn’t allow himself to be held back. Combining apparent chaos with an intimate yet expressive palette, his compositions are uninhibited, open and full of life. In this regard Chan, despite his Rietveld Academy background, would appear to be decidedly Art Brut - 'outsider’s' art - but without the primitive or naive element. And certainly without the usual 'outsider’s' independence from culture, tradition and style. Dominique, no loner with emphasis on himself, is engaged with life and makes art with full-bore passion: unforced and lyrical.
This publication, in its form, is a witness to Dominique’s engagement. Because more than a book that puts the artist at a distance raising respect towards his complete works, it aims at making you familiar with Dominique, his family’s pictures, ceramics, lyrics, paintings and other artistic expressions. And on top of it all, Dominique offers us a fresh layer of impressions: on the cover, a new dimension to his work, a new answer, a new perspective on what he has created.
It makes this publication not just the dossier of an impressive artistic oeuvre, but adds a human dimension. Since, in addition to being a book for the art-lover, this is also a book for himself; a pause in a continuous work in progress. Dominique seldom reflects on what once was. Perhaps due to the creative urge or the limitation of the past as 'fait accompli'. After all, to a progressive artist there’s nothing stranger than a story without motion. This owes not only to Dominique Chan’s French-Chinese background. He works, indeed, within a decor he doesn’t hide - his work is peculiarly French with a Chinese tint. But it speaks of larger themes; the art supersedes the artist.
With his work, Dominique prods - no, compels - the viewer to fill in the picture. Dominique communicates with his art. Lively and expressive, it invites discovery and experience. Distancing oneself, let alone remaining untouched, is nearly impossible. Hence this book and its form, to bring you close to Dominique and closer to his art. To (get to) know Dominique is to cherish him, to hold him dear as a friend and a great artist. This book is enthusiastic witness.
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