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Takeover #180 Donglai Meng

Donglai Meng: Instagram / Website

#180 (04/10 - 08/10, 2021) written by Anisa Demirci and Cheyenne Pattiwaël

Take a seat! This week Donglai Meng will tell us invisible stories through oil paintings that constantly capture different mental states, contexts and realities. After her BA Oil Painting in Italy, Donglai graduated in MA Fine Arts from St. Joost in 2019. Her work mainly consists of writing stories and mixing all experiences and information that come to her, resulting in paintings that make you wonder.

When you look at Donglai’s work you instantly notice recurring themes and styles such as anime, manga, hairy legs and bunny ears. Scenes that are and aren’t familiar, that confuse and surprise you. The different paintings seem to function as a storyboard, like you’re reading a cartoon or a story. Like a chapter is unfolding before your eyes, making you feel like you interrupt it, yet you can’t look away. They urge you to use your imagination and question your reality, your (sub)consciousness and your dreams.

“I started writing about my dreams. That was the starting point. My research is about psychoanalysis, the bridge that connects our subconsciousness to our consciousness. In my work I try to show the meaning of that to our reality. What is their significance to real life? It can be through something as hairy legs, functioning as a symbol to hint at a shift between two different worlds. It can be simple yet hold a lot of meaning.”

This week Donglai will show us her recent projects, stories and paintings, coming from different residencies. Keep an eye on her Take Over and turn your eye inwards to discover your own inner world.

“I hope my work makes the audience think about their own mental state and inner experience, because through my paintings I investigate my mental state as well. It’s very personal. I am trying to catch the moment and show that to the audience. It’s the sensitivity of everyday life.”

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