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Interview | Tofer Chin TOTALLY

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Last Friday Lu Magnus presented Totally, the first New York solo exhibition by artist Tofer Chin.

The show highlights his new geometric paintings, photographic wall wrap, and sculptures that utilizes a color palette reflecting “the brash attitude of the ’80s and early ’90s skate culture,” which means, lots of black, white and neon.

Tofer sat down with me for 2  minutes before blowing me off for someone more important, but that was enough to get a real in depth feel for this new show and make a life long best bud.

JY: Whoa. You don’t look Chinese.

TC: Uhh… hello.

JY: I see this is your first solo exhibition in New York.

TC: Yes it is.

JY: What took you so long?

TC: Pardon me?

JY: During your last show “Alex,” you were on drugs. I’m glad to see you’re clean now.

TC: I wasn’t on drugs. It had a drug themed undertone via an Aldous Huxley quote but focused on Op-Art.

JY: I thought step 1 was admitting you had a problem? Doesn’t seem like rehab was that successful…

JY: Your geometric constructions are based on mathematical calculations. Did you use an abacus?

TC: What?

JY: You’re telling me that you’re that good at math that you didn’t need any help? You’re only half Asian, that doesn’t make sense.

TC: No abacus.

JY: I see you like stalagmites. What’s up with that?

TC: I enjoy the sharpness of the shape.

JY: Has anyone been impaled on your stalagmites?

TC: What?

JY: I’d impale someone with that.

TC: …

JY: You’re 32?

TC: Yes.

JY: And your show’s color palette focuses on the brash attitude 80s and 90s skate culture?

TC: Yes.

JY: Hmm…

TC: What?

JY: Oh nothing. Just looks like a silent mid-life crisis cry for help that’s all …

JY: Your painting, 31 White Lines on Black is made up of 31 white lines on a black background. Why isn’t it called 61 Lines of Black and White, or 3o Black Lines on White, and are you sure there are 31 lines?

TC: It’s a black background with 31 white lines on it. And yes, it has 31 lines.

JY: Are you sure, sure?

TC: Yes.

JY: Go count it for me…

JY: Are your parents upset that you’re an artist and not an acupuncturist?

TC: … (gets up and leaves)

JY: Great seeing you again Tofer!