“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).

“White Dress” – Beginning of an Ongoing Series

My still life oil painting, “White Dress”, was inspired by a vision of a tiny white dress floating in a vast open sky.

While working on the painting, I managed to make the delicate-looking dress full of free-spirit and bravura, as it floated against an intense red backdrop, whose hues shifted and varied mercurially, like raging flames. Small, and delicate, yet the small white dress flew on, nonchalantly, unconcerned with its own vulnerability, however threatened by the menacing environ.

The success of this painting gave me an impetus to continue the probe of the psyche of a personified white dress, and embarked on a journey of making a series of white dresses, objects I judged perfect to reflect or stand in as the bodies they are to clothe, as documented in this article: “White Dress” Series Continues – A New Drawing and a New Painting.

This painting was also part of my Apocalypse Series.

It was selected for juried exhibitions at 4th National Juried Exhibition, Prince Street Gallery, Chelsea, Manhattan, New York, 12 – 30 July 2011, and ViewPoint 2007, 39th Annual National Juried Art Competition, Cincinnati Art Club, Ohio, November 2007.

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.

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