Featured Painting – Colony

My painting Colony depicted a roughly sketched tight grid, in which several skeletal ants nervously roam around these low barriers. The whole painting was awash in a cold and almost sinister bluish green, and the insects were barely discernible at the first glance, as they seemed to have merged with the thin grids underneath their wiry bodies. The painting was a bit starling as it presented the ants in close-up, and they looked rather monstrous in their enormities.

Colony / 屬地 / Kolonie
Colony
Oil on Canvas
22″ x 28″
Completed in 2011

This painting is currently in a Group exhibition Color Speaks (Sep. 23, 2017 – Jan. 20, 2018), in the vibrant art district of Downtown Berkeley.

Featured Painting – Procession

My monochromatic painting Procession is a visually engaging and topically challenging work, which depicts a group of fantastic birds, treading despondently in a nondescript and barren landscape, carrying a dead companion in the middle of their solemn funeral procession. The overwhelming sadness was manifested in the starkly contrasted white and black color scheme, and the bend and stretched postures of those dejected birds, from gigantic to tiny. The loose brushstrokes and the lack of the last measure of definition, also contributed to the unreal and dreamy atmosphere.

Procession / 行列 / Prozession
Procession
Oil on Canvas
22″ x 28″
Completed in 2017

Featured Painting – One Fine Day

My 2007 oil painting One Fine Day soon will conclude its five-month long exhibition at at McGuire Real Estate Gallery in Elmwood District, Berkeley. This painting, in somewhat sickly moon light tone (pale Prussian blue), depicted a school of agitated and thrashing fish, tightly packed in confining space, bulging eyes telegraphing anguish, straining to escape of a deadly trap they had unfortunately fallen into.

The ironic title I chose, perhaps ought to be ascribed to some lucky fishermen. And that spoke the volume of the relationship of mankind and the unfortunate nature.

One Fine Day / 美好的一天 / Ein schöner Tag
One Fine Day
Oil on Canvas
22″ x 28″
Completed in 2007

Featured Painting: Trot

The motive behind my oil painting Trot was my wish to explore tonal contrasts and arrive at a certain balance of playfulness and menace.

The subject of this study is a cat, or two. Before I started my oil, I made several preliminary sketches and once I committed my ideas to the canvas, I proceeded with a cat with upright head. Somehow, after the composition had more or less taken shape, I noticed a more dynamic and emotional sketch with a cat whose head was bending down, thus I incorporated that cat into the canvas.

Trot / 小跑 / Trab
Trot / 小跑 / Trab
Oil on Canvas
22″ x 22″
Completed in 2016

The finished painting more or less achieved my goals, though the subject can be seen as two cats running side by side, or just a cat captured at different time.

Featured Painting “Minotaur”

I often found the Minotaur legend disturbing and strangely moving.  Minotaur, the bull-headed monster, resided in the labyrinth built on the command of King Minos of Crete, subsisted on tributes of young boys and girls, and was finally slain by the Athenian hero Theseus, who invaded his lair as one of the new sacrifices.

The strangest aspect of the legend was that Minotaur had a head of a bull, which was not a natural carnivore, therefore it would not be far-fetched to imagine how sickened he was by his own savagery, thus I treated this subject in my oil painting, Minotaur.

My Minotaur was not a personification of usual monstrosity; rather, a sensitive being, trapped by his monstrous nature beyond his own control, he eagerly awaited his slayer/liberator, so as to rid himself of the misery.

Minotaur / 牛頭怪 / Minotaur
Minotaur / 牛頭怪 / Minotaur
Oil on Canvas
24″ x 30″
Completed in 2005

There, a hoof under his chin, my Minotaur pensively watched from a precipice the approaches of the Athenian boat, while holding the ball of threads, to be given to Theseus later by the willing princess Ariadne as means to aid his existing from the foul maze after the deed.

A large tear oozed out of his eye but it was not a bitter tear, rather a willing resignation and submission.

Bird Painting “Crow”

Crows are fascinating animals – omnipresent, prophetic and somewhat sinister. There were many crows hover around my neighborhood and quite often I was struck by the peculiar complex air they exude when they perched high on telephone poles, which dotted and dominated the bleak urban/suburban landscape of my environ.

I was moved by such vision to create a painting, titled simple Crow, depicting a lone crow in a forlorn urban space, aiming to capture such leaden atmosphere and desolate melancholy.

Crow / 烏鴉 / Krähe, Oil on Canvas, 24" x 18", Completed in 2009

Crow / 烏鴉 / Krähe
Oil on Canvas
24″ x 18″
Completed in 2009

Now, this Crow has been shipped to San Diego, for a show titled “The Crow Show: An Homage to The Raven” in Studio Door Gallery.

Exhibition Dates: February 2 – 27, 2015 Mission Valley Reception: February 5, 2015 6:00 – 9:00 PM Ray Street Reception: February 6, 2015 6:00 – 9:00 PM.

Prior to that, it was exhibited in the gallery of a legendary recording studio in San Francisco, Studio Trilogy in 2011:

Studio Trilogy, San Francisco _ 3591

Featured Oil Painting “Upstream”

Last week, I shipped to Seattle my 2008 oil painting, Upstream, which has been selected for the juried show, 2014 Evergreen Association of Fine Arts (EAFA) Open Exhibition, at EAFA Gallery in the Seattle Design Center (5701 Sixth Avenue South, Suite P292, Seattle, WA 98108).

This modest painting, measured 24″ by 18″, semi-abstract in style, clearly influenced by Chinese ink painting, depicts a fish or two struggles to swim upstream, against the current.  It is fitting for the painting to travel to Seattle, because it was in that city when I witnessed an amazing salmon run in Chittenden Locks Fish Ladder several years ago.

Upstream / 逆流 / Gegen den Strom, Oil on Canvas, 24" x 18", Completed in 2008

Upstream / 逆流 / Gegen den Strom
Oil on Canvas
24″ x 18″
Completed in 2008

This painting was not a frank documentation of that fish ladder scene; rather, when I painted it, I was trying to capture a free spirit, a spirit to overcome adversaries.  I deliberated chose a black and white color scheme, and a bold, almost abstract outline, as I was mostly interested in something elemental, less representational.

This work surely has a charmed life and earned a fair bit of recognitions – in 2009, it was published in The William and Mary Review by The College of William and Mary, Virginia, Volume 47.