‘Layers are what make paintings sexy’
Following a five-year art degree at the University of Augustana and a year spent living in Calgary, a Regina-born artist has returned to the Queen City.
Jason Vincci Chu has been creative since his youth, and he brings a broad geographic background to his work. Although he was born in Regina, he grew up in Hong Kong, but moved back to Canada to attend high school. With family still in Asia, he occasionally travels back there for a visit.
While Chu has enjoyed experimenting in a number of different artistic styles and media, including “fauvism, ultra-realism, sculpting with wood, metal, and other materials you would find in the wild,” his primary and favourite form of artistic expression is oil paintings.
“[There’s a] vibrancy of colours and the layers that oil can achieve that no other medium can,” said Chu. “Quoting my art professor, ‘layers are what make paintings sexy.’ ”
Chu has found himself no shortage of inspirational figures to draw from. Some of his favourite artists include Gordon Harper, David Black, Julian Forrest, Keith Harder, David Schnell, Sophie Jodoin, and many, many more.
And perhaps Chu himself will be somebody’s favourite artist someday. While he is still early in his career, he has already been lauded by various artistic communities with awards including the 2019 Augustana Faculty Medal in Fine Arts, the 2019 Choice Award, the 2018 Marion Murray Walter’s Award, and the Augustana Faculty Fine Arts Award in Studio Art from 2015 to 2018.
But it’s not all work and no play for this emerging artist. He also enjoys spending time outdoors and when asked about his idea of a relaxing day, he had a clear picture in mind.
“[A] challenging solo hike in the Rockies, just me and my camera,” he said.
This is part of a family legacy. Chu’s father and grandfather were also avid hikers who loved to explore the many hills and walls of Hong Kong and China. For Chu, hiking is about cultivating a healthy lifestyle and taking in the beautiful scenery. Living in Calgary was a great gateway to the Rockies for him.
Now that he has recently moved to Regina, the mountains may be fewer and further away, but that has not dulled his creative spirit. He has been taking on some smaller art projects and sharing them with supporters on social media. Most of his artwork can be seen on his Instagram account @Originalchus; while his primary account, @JasonVincci, is more lifestyle and photography-based. Occasionally, he even treats his followers to “art lapses,” or time-lapses of his creative processes watchable on his art account – the chance to see his work come together is worth every second!
And while he is looking to sell more of his artwork, he has also branched out into other commercial ventures. Chu has turned his hand to designing tattoos, and even designed the logo for his friend’s clothing brand Humbled Apparel.
When Chu looks for inspiration, he often turns to music to get himself in the “artistic mood,” but he also tends to draw on his extensive travels to call forward the memories and emotions he puts into his work. His trips to Lebanon, Cambodia, Malaysia, Beijing, and many other locations across the globe have all influenced the way he creates new work.
When I asked Chu what he finds to be the most difficult thing about being an artist, he answered with a question.
“When is a painting finished?” he asked.
And while deciding on the end-point of a piece of art can be a serious challenge, one thing is for sure – Chu’s career is just getting started, and we are lucky to have him back in Regina to be able to appreciate his talents in person.