In our Artist Employee Spotlight series, we are highlighting the diverse and exceptional talent here at FLAX art & design.
Meet Stan Chan, who grew up in East Oakland. A life long artist, Stan is participating in an exhibition, Stories From My Mother’s House. It is a curated show featuring artifacts, drawings, and writings on his childhood memories, family gossips, and everyday stories. His parents were able to buy a house in the 1950’s and each plexiglass-wooden box contains items that had been accumulating in the nooks and crannies of their house.
The show runs September 1 - 25, 2022, at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. Learn more here. Enjoy a reflection of a lived experience through the art of Stan Chan.
Growing up in East Oakland, my world was a couple miles radius. Except for the occasional trip taken to the barber in Chinatown or to see relatives in San Francisco, my World was in the house, the fenced front yard and backyard, and going to and from school. Me and my sister's big adventure was to walk two blocks to the grocery store and another block to the variety store, sometimes to buy but most of the time to be fascinated and discover things of the outside world.
My parents were immigrants. They were able to buy a house in the 1950s. The house was Victorian. The furniture was Montgomery Ward and everything was makeshift. My parents and uncle who lived with us were junior carpenters making the house fit their needs. I dug holes in the walls, in the mattress, in the backyard, burying my treasures. We played, ate, and slept in that house. A generation later, I've seen the bigger world, but in my dreams, in my memory, my mother's house and that little yard that surrounds it is still home.
I have made a series of small wall sections inspired by my mother's house. Maybe it's not exactly my parents', but it could be neighbors or relatives, immigrant people living in Victorians in East Oakland. The original walls were altered, repaired, changed by the newcomers. It showed layers and layers of past history. Artifacts in the wall exposed, left behind by the inhabitants to show that they had once existed.
You can say "Hi" to Stan in our Oakland store, where he manages the Fine Arts Department.