Tongji Philip Qian’s current practice is rooted in his desire to systematically differentiate the artist’s mind and the element of chance. In his work, Qian endorses a rigid approach as he conceptually polishes instructions before execution, and he attempts to essentially remove his personality and taste to accentuate chance as he physically produces the work. He defines the locations of the artist’s hand meticulously, and chance operations (such as dice rolling, clock watching, and I Ching consulting) only start and end at specific moments to dovetail with the more subjective artist self. In every sense, chance is the unplanned and the unexpected, the unutterable and the poetic, and it differs fundamentally from errors during production. The collaboration with chance, on the other hand, does not equal his hesitation to be accountable for his artistic choices. Instead, Qian relentlessly refines the ontological definition of chance in his own context to negotiate the territory of his ego. 
        Because of his consistent appreciation of printmaking, Qian is fascinated with the ability to assume responsibilities of both an artist and a printer. He sees it as an exciting union of art and craft, because the adherence to the autonomy of the artist as well as the nonjudgemental mentality of the craftsman can collaborate to promote unanticipated yet enormous artistic breakthrough. Such precise moments of manipulating the ego of both the artist and the craftsman inform his most recent practice: Qian is interested in the romantic idea of framing himself both as an artist and as a model for his works on paper, and the desire to balance these two intrinsically contrasting personalities, which demand different modes of physicality at the very least, ensures that his work eludes his preconceptions and, at times, himself. For Qian, it is an act of taking nothing for granted, including his mind, his body, the location, and the material, and such intentional gestures of self-scrutiny also conceal the artist’s ineffable vulnerability in other places. As a result, these situations of “push and pull” confirm Qian’s artistic spirit and ego, and it is in this pliable way of self-revelation that Qian capably pays homage to the aleatory.
           Ultimately, Tongji Philip Qian’s work highlights his interest in unpacking his ego, atomizing it, and finally freeing it. It is his most intimate collaboration with aging.
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