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Su Su

Artist Statement

Su Su’s practice revolves around two distinctive but interconnected bodies of work—both of which employ oil paint, though in radically different ways. The first, traditional oil paintings on canvas, address images from history, including Su Su’s own family history as well as Chinese art history in general. These works speak to the complicated and confusing experiences Su Su has had as an immigrant to the United States. They show a distorted, swirling world of liquified pop iconographies and Chinese symbolism. Su Su’s face and body appear in her compositions, reflecting her struggle with the misunderstandings that shape the way China and the United States understand and portray each other’s cultures.

Su Su’s second body of work, oil painting on silk, made by injecting streams of oil paint through silk, using a sui generis technique of Susu’s invention. Working on a fine silk tulle fabric, she sets the stretched surface upside down atop a sawhorse, and places a mirror beneath it on the floor. She then uses a syringe to carefully inject oil paint from behind the surface through the silk. Gravity pulls the injected streams downward, creating a phantasmagoric, petrified forest of oil paint flagella from which haunting, uncanny images emerge. Su Su developed the technique as a material celebration of oil paint and Chinese silk.


Born in Beijing, China, Su Su lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA. She received an artist scholarship to attend graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University, where she completed her MFA in 2015 and worked as a guest professor at the School of Drama from 2015-2021. Su Su has shown both nationally and internationally, and over four years, has been honored to receive three nominations including the Eben Demarest Trust Award, 2018; the Joan Mitchell Foundation award, 2019; and The Bennett Prize 2.0, 2020. Her paintings were featured in publications such as Juxtapoz Magazine, Galerie Magazine, American Art Collector, Artpulse Magazine, ARTFORUM and Fine Art Connoisseur. Su Su has notably exhibited at Pittsburgh Center for the Art (2018), Chautauqua Institution of Art, NY (2019), The Andy Warhol Museum 25th anniversary exhibition (2019), The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (2020), The Momentary Museum (2020), The Carnegie Museum of Art (2020), and The Muskegon Museum of Art (2021).