Caroline Mak was born in England and raised in
Hong Kong. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from
Stanford University and recent M.F.A graduate from the University of
Chicago. Caroline moved to Brooklyn after graduation and set up a studio
in Gowanus, Brooklyn where she primarily works in sculpture and installations,
using materials that range from fabrics to industrial insulation foam.
Her background in biology is integral in her approach to her work.
The influence of biology is evident in the organic and zoomorphic forms
she creates in her installations and sculptures. That is not to say she
makes art commenting on science or about science, but is very much aware
of the impact biological systems have on our everyday existence and she
tries to acknowledge this world, whether in forms that resemble amoeba
or a model of a spreading disease that is referenced.
She is interested in pushing her work in the direction of becoming
self-contained worlds, complete with their own emergent sets of patterns
and inherent logic; she considers each installation an autonomous system
that is capable of producing its own organization, drawing from the concept
of autopoiesis a term originally coined by biologists Humberto Maturana
and Francisco Varela to describe biological systems like a cell.
Materiality is a vital part of her work, heavily influenced by trawling
fabric stores and second hand stores; cheap strands of fake pearls and
old doilies appear in altered forms and transformed contexts. Living
much of her adult like in foreign cities has been a large influence----
she has witnessed the variety of materials that are used in different
cultures for similar purposes.