I started Gold mine because I was interested in creating a Chinese landscape painting in oil, taking as my subject a scene that could exist only in an age of plastic and global circuitries of trade. While conducting research for a different project on ecology, I encountered a news story in Chinese media about a man who had been buried alive in a landfill. As I tried to understand how such an event could be possible, I discovered the vibrancy of the industry around the sale of recyclable materials such as cardboard, plastic and glass, and the rise of entire ecosystems of waste products. Frequent trips to China as a child acclimated me to the sight of villages, rivers and mountains of garbage. This is the beginning of a series of paintings investigating the relationships between finance and waste, bodies and landscapes, flesh and toxicity.