MalPina Chan (Olympia) was born in California and received her BFA from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. At multiple levels her work is a continuing investigation of the transitory nature of the human condition, our connection to each other, to circumstances around us, and to the natural world.
Through her work, she tells the story of her family’s immigrant experience. The voyage to America required courage, strength, and conviction. The imagery in her work is drawn from a rich resource of old family photos, immigration documents, letters, and cultural icons. In another series she focuses on the impact of external circumstances on our bodies, investigating the known and unknown in a framework that ignites dialogue.
Working mainly as a printmaker and mixed-media artist, her portfolio includes works on paper, artist books, and kiln-formed glass propelling her art-making practice into three-dimensional and sculptural forms. The multiple and sequential picture plane of artist books lends itself to the narrative stories in her work.
She is a graduate of the Artist Trust EDGE Professional Development program and a recipient of a GAP Award in 2012. In the fall of 2014, MalPina was awarded an Artist-in-Residence at the James & Janie Washington Foundation.
MalPina’s work can be found in collections at the UW Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, King County Courthouse, 4Culture King County Portable Works, City of Tacoma, Portland Regional Arts & Culture Council, University of Puget Sound Collins Memorial Library, University of Washington Special Collections Library, and the Evergreen State College Library. Her work is also included in Women Beyond Borders: Art Expressing Life, an international community-building project.
Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Tacoma Art Museum, Wing Luke Asian Museum, Bullseye Gallery, Portland, Oregon, Seattle City Hall, Patricia Cameron Gallery, Artxchange Gallery, Rosetta Hunter Gallery, Columbia City Gallery, San Francisco Center for the Book, 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon, Bellevue College, Kirkland Art Center, Atelier 6000, Bend, Oregon, and Woman Made Gallery in Chicago.
MalPina’s projects also include independent curatorial work, teaching workshops, and lecturing. She is a founding member and currently serves on the board of Puget Sound Book Artists. Her work is included in: 500 Handmade Books Vol.2 and 1000 Artist Books: Exploring the Book as Art.