Sunday, October 16, 2005

Hua Grave (華墓)

30" x 40". Oil on Canvas. October 2005.
Closeup and Angled View

This piece took much longer than I anticipated. At first my first inclination was to paint the entire thing Payne's Gray (note: it is NOT black). However, two-thirds into the process, I had to stop...somehow, I just felt it looked complete.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Han Grave (漢墓)

Story of Han
30" x 40". Oil on Canvas. July 2005.
Story of Han - Combined
Closeup and Angled View

This is one of the pieces that I wanted to paint after my return from Europe (see my "Schuworld" travel blog). After seeing all the art in the various Jewish Halocaust exhibitions and museums, I realized that there has not been many (if any) art that surrounds those who died in China during the same time in WWII. I wanted to do a series of paintings - not to be a remembrance of the event since I have not experienced it myself first hand, but more to release my frustration of the fact that the world only seems to care what happened in the West...and whatever happened to us Chinese in the East, it is not all that important.

This piece took almost two months to complete....partly because it took a lot of work (it has a 3D quality to it), but also I have been distracted with playing tennis. But in order for me to move on to the next piece, I have to finish this one first.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Lifeline (生命線)

18" x 24". Oil on Canvas. May 2005.

Not much to be said...the painting just came to mind after I returned from Europe, reflecting some feelings I have experienced. I just let the brush lead the way.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Sinking to Atlantis

15" x 36". Mixed Media on Canvas/Acrylic. April 1991.

It's going back in time 14 years. This was one of the last painting I did before I quit years ago. This painting was done during a big turning point in my life. It is very difficult to take a picture of this painting, because part of it is on clear acrylic, which is elevated from the canvas. So just imagine that white circle (the camera flash reflection) not being there.

However, I do like this canvas and clear acrylic panel combination...I don't think I have seen anyone do this. The painting has a very 3-D effect to it. However, this process just takes too much time, and too much money. Nonetheless, this is one of those paintings I don't really care about these days....I think it was painted more to please the eye than to please the mind.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

That Which Never Came (那不來)

That Which Never Came
12" x 12". Oil on Canvas. April 2005.

If you look closely, this is a complement painting to 'Waiting' (see below). If I ever have an exhibition, just imagine that this painting will not share the same wall nor in sight with that of 'Waiting'. This might shed some light to you viewers of what 'Waiting' is....

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

FP Gravity (孝力)

Oil on Canvas. 24" x 30". March 2005.

FP = Filial Piety = "孝"

Originally, I've started to paint a more tranquil moloncholy piece...but as the work progressed, the outcome metamorphasized into something different. Suddently in my mind, I see bronze color to complete my work...and thank goodness, there is actually bronze-colored oil paint.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Numbers' Memoir I & II (數回顧 I & II)

Oil on Canvas. 12" x 48". Janurary 2005.
Oil on Canvas. 12" x 48". March 2005.

These are meant to be a set. However, I don't really know whether this can be considered as a diptych, because these two pieces are not connected by a hinge or anything. I think I had better check the dictionary or something...

If you look closely, you will see Chinese words there....can you see it?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Silence is Sh*t (沉默是屎)

Silence is Sht
Oil on Canvas. 36" x 36". March 2005.

This is the biggest piece I have painted yet. I realize that when I have too much detail of what I want to paint (down to the last detail) in my head, it turns out terrible. I doodled much with this painting. It took awhile before I got something that conveyed what I want to express.
This painting just evolved by itself.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Interaction: Art for Sale...

One of the Galleries on Geary Street, San Francisco.

Tonight, after a few hours of painting, my painting buddy, Jenny and I went to downtown SF to look at some galleries. Several questions came to my mind....

What are these artists' goals when they paint? express or to market?

Do artists paint to please themselves or to please viewers with the mindset to sell?

So has many modern art become so commercial that it mutates into some form of prostitution?!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Waiting (枯候)

Oil on Canvas. 36" x 24". February 2005.

This painting really needs to be looked at in person, because it has so much texture. I have used a tremendous amount of rock/sand medium to create the texture. A lot of time was spent to just stare at the canvas (mostly at night and usually in a meloncholy mood), in search of what colors to use and what strokes to execute, to express what I feel inside.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Surround (圍攏)

Oil on Canvas. 18" x 24". December 2004.

This is the real oil painting on a 1.5" woodframe. Here, I am still trying to find my style in representing what I see as image of people. I am attempting very hard to think outside of the box, and paint whatever came to mind, without worrying what is right or wrong.

Do notice that this painting was done about 10 months after 'Touch'. I did not paint in-between. Mostly because I don't have a direction. But I now I do (read my Feb 23 entry).

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Reaction: Asian Art Museum of SF

I have not been in this Asian Art Museum for over 20 years. This location is a renovated library. Interior-wise is very beautiful and well lit. But its lighting is also its biggest flaw. Due to the sensitivity to light, many Asian art has to go into storage for 5 years after it has only been displayed for 6 months.

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

There were literally hundreds of Buddhas and demi-god statues from all over Asia. I was so sick of Buddhas by the end of the day!! My big misconception was treating these sculptures as art created for memory of significance. But in reality, they were only tools for worship and was never intended to be done for 'art' sake. Nonetheless, the handywork and its details are phenomonal!!

One of the featured exhibition is called "Sui Jianguo: The Sleep of Reason". Sui Jianguo’s sculptures raise questions about China’s modern past and its future. A highlighted work is the Dinosaur with the words "Made in China" imprinted on its stomach. His work is very manacing and amusing. It's great fun.

"Made in China" Dinosaur. Fiberglass.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Other Side of Love (愛的背面)

Acrylic on Canvas. 24" x 36" each. January 2004.

Frankly, I hate these (well, I kinda do like the red one) to the point where I almost forgot I had them, even though they are right above my bed.

At first, I wanted to do some kind of abstract figures with unique facial features of my own...but they started to look like Anime characters. So, for the lack of ideas, I painted in un-original!! I am still creating within my comfort zone and painting with the mindset to please a 'wider audience' with colorful images. Hense, I hate these.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Interaction: Comfort Zone

For some reason, doing art is so different now, especially from commercial art. It's all about stepping outside my comfort zone. I am constantly afraid to put down things that can ruin what I have done thus far. My mind is bombarded with doubts and the fear of 'right' and 'wrong'. Learning to let go and let my imagination run wild, is one of the hardest mental block to overcome.

I recall when I improvise in music... it is when I forego the key signature, the chord construction, the familar rhythm, and the fear of making mistakes, that the most creative solos and chops came out from me. It is like being part of the essense of music...everything surrounding me disappears into the background; and yield to the music to carry me along like a river.

I am practicing that. Looking hard into the painting and see/hear what the canvas is suggesting me to do... my interaction.

Right now it is all hit or miss. Mostly miss. But I have to make these mistakes in order to open up new horizons. In the weeks to come, I will post some of my latest work. Hopefully, you will see some progression. Something more daring, more creative.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Touch (觸碰)

Acrylic on Canvas. 36" x 24". March 2004.

'Touch' is my very first painting on a 1.5" thick wood frame canvas. I have been painting on 3/4" frames for all my previous work. For some reason, painting on the 3/4" frame seemed very 'un-pro'. You can say that this is my very first piece I would consider 'gallery quality'. Needless to say, when I started working on this piece, I had a lot of pressure to make it 'perfect'...which caused me great headache!!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Shadowed in the Middle (困中)

Acrylic on Canvas. 24" x 24". October 2003.

This painting is one of my first painting that really studies the color of yellow and burnt umber in acrylic format. I have also incorporated a lot of texture into the painting by mixing acrylic paint with a type of sand-like pigment called 'Pumice Stone', to give the painting a very 3D effect.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Interaction and Reaction

"...And the moment the story enters, the boredom comes upon you" - Francis Bacon in an interview with David Sylvester

I will not tell you why I painted what I paint, for the fear that once I tell you, the painting becomes boring, and eventually dead. So, I will let you come up with your own findings (please post your thoughts on the comments) and your own reactions. I find it very true that once a painting is complete, it takes a life of its own. Once my last stroke on the canvas is lifted, my interaction with the painting comes to an end. So now it is you, the viewer, begin your interaction with the painting. What do you see? What do you feel?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

My Vision and Direction....

For the longest time, I have been trying to find subjects to paint about. 'Quartet Seasons' was just a jump start for me to begin painting subjects that are more non-Anime related (I have illustrated for a Japanese Manga Magazine years ago). I needed a direction and something that is real to me.

I've noticed that there aren't many Chinese contemporary painters (mostly sculpters). And those that are, usually have the subject matter relating to living within the political system of China. Since I don't have first hand experience on the subject, I can't really paint about that. I can only paint about things I have experienced a Hong Kong-born Chinese living in the Western well as living in the times when traditional Chinese culture has to deal with the assimilation into the Global culture.

Will my Chinese tradition fade into a distant memory?

What do I see in my own culture that I want to discard or hold onto?

Has the sadness of the Chinese culture (悲) worked into my life?

These are just some of the questions I want to explore in my paintings. So, come and dive into my world...

Monday, February 21, 2005

Quartet Seasons

I am a artist. I am a musician. So naturally, I painted something that deals with music. Since the working of an instrument is by the usage of the hands, thus I painted these paintings with my hands.

Quartet Seasons
Acrylic on Canvas. 24"x24" (each individual size). Sept - Nov 2003.

He that can play well on an instrument,
Will take the ear, and captivate the mind
With mirth or sadness; for that it is bent
Thereto, as music in it place doth find.
But if one hears that hath therein no skill,
(As often music lights of such a chance)
Of its brave notes they soon be weary will:
And there are some can neither sing nor dance.

"Upon The Skilfull Player Of An Instrument" (partial) by John Bunyan