Featured Painting – Birches

Nurtured by many Russian novels while growing up, I developed a special feeling towards the omnipresent birches, which not only aptly set the scenes and evoke the particular melancholy especially associated with Russia and Russian people, and finally, I made effort in 2006 to try to capture such feelings with a painting titled Birches, which is currently showing at the McGuire Real Estate gallery in Berkeley as part of the “Crowded by Beauty” exhibit.

I love the slender shapes of the trees, the softness of the finely-layered birch barks and their eerie silver color, and above all, the eye-shaped knobs imprinted on the trunks from bottom to top, as if birches were meant to be the chosen observers from silent world, so as to judge humankind.

Birches / 樺樹 / Birken
Birches
Oil on Canvas
22″ x 28″
Completed in 2006

That painting is also a play of optical illusion – amongst the eyes on the trunks, there was a singular eye floating in the space, unattached, between two indifferent birches. Inundated by so many eyes, this oddity was not immediately obvious; once detected, one might ask, if this is a most determined birch eye, the eye of an invisible human, or just a wandering independent eye belong to nothing and no one.

“Schism” – Staring into the Mirror of Our Time

Though I am mostly comfortable in descriptive paintings, occasional visions have compelled me to explore abstract paintings, such as this Schism.

Schism / 裂縫 / Schisma
Schism
Oil on Canvas Board
16″ x 12″
Completed in 2007

The straightforwardly titled painting is dominated by a large object, glowing red and yellow, sitting on top of an equally glowing red slit – the schism, all of them contrasting strongly against the black background. Smack in the middle of the small canvas, the large object can be seen as an escaping ladder, or a doomed arrow headlong crashing into the schism; or, can even be interpreted as the vary agent who caused the schism, with some tragic results for the environment and perhaps even itself, similar to the reckless behavior of the US on the international stage in the last decade, in particular.

This painting, in stark contrasting bi-tones, together with Flow and Party Night, would be exhibited at Expressions Gallery, Berkeley, in an exhibition titled “Does Color Matter?” (October 24, – January 8, 2016 Opening: October 24, 6-8pm).

Featured Oil Painting “July Meteors”

July Meteors / 七月流火 / Juli Meteoren, Oil on Canvas, 20" x 16", Completed in 2014

The title of this painting, July Meteors, originates from a Chinese phrase, 七月流火, which means that in July, when stars move westbound, cooler weather arrives soon; I have always been drawn to the mystic and somewhat fatalistic image of this concise yet profound phrase, without much understanding.

Right before the Fourth of July this year, suddenly there was some unexpected disturbances took place in my life and I was mostly assailed by shock and dismay, out of all things, and soon I was enveloped in a chill, much colder than the already too cool San Francisco summer.

It was the realization of abrupt and decisive change caused me much alarm and disquietness and then I suddenly understand the meaning of that phrase, and the helplessness sedimented through thousands years of valiant and often futile struggle, and composed this rather evocative abstract piece, to channel my compound feelings.

I entered this piece for a juried exhibition and silent auction at Berkeley Art Center and it was accepted for the event.

Exhibition: October 18-25, 2014
Gallery hours: Wednesday – Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm

Silent Auction Fundraiser:
Saturday, October 25, 5-9 pm
– VIP Reception 5-6 pm $70 VIP Ticket
– Auction Main Event: 6-9 pm $40 Auction Ticket