Ethereal “Immaculate”

“Immaculate” aptly summarizes its subject of the painting – several ethereal white lilies floating in an opaque water body, whose pattern resembles the other-worldly images transmitted by the great Hubble Space Telescope. These dreamily floating flowers and their irregularly patterned background, mesmerize and pull the viewers into the depth.

This painting was published by Your Impossible Voice as the cover art in their 24th Issue in Spring 2021.

Immaculate, gouache on paper, 9x12 inches, 2020

gouache on paper

Quietly “Waiting”

“Waiting” depicts an inconspicuous piano bar located in a large barn, when nothing is taking place and the instruments, along with odd furnishing and decorations, quietly waits for things to happen. A wide wall painted in muted green provides a delicate contrast and wonderful harmony to the shining black instruments. There is a gentle and slightly melancholic atmosphere in this sparse and old-fashioned space which is simultaneously inviting and impenetrable.

Waiting, oil on canvas, 22

22” x 28”
Oil on Canvas
Completed in 2021

Fuzzy “Memories of Childhood”

“Memories of Childhood” is a backward glance towards the distant past, at which time how one experienced and felt might not reflect truthfully in the recollection in adulthood. The distant memory can be fuzzy and mercurial, as illustrated in this black and white snapshot of a little boy stranded amongst several screens of fragmented episodic sceneries, staring at the viewers, defiantly or expectantly, with discernment and awe.

Childhood can be as rich and varied as the life of an adult, and the emotional impacts a child experiences can be just as acute and palpable, even if the stakes might be lower, mainly due to a child’s smaller spheres. Akin to any age group, childhood is the age of exploration and discovery, of closed-mindedness and misplaced confidence, of timidity and bravery, of tenderness and innocence, and of mischievousness and cruelty.

Childhood’s memories – colorful or monochromatic – will haunt forever.

Memories of Childhood, oil on canvas, 22

Memories of Childhood
22” x 28”
Oil on Canvas
Completed in 2022

Fantastic “Edge”

Edge is a fantastic cityscape, focusing on a sharp- lonely house in a peculiar perspective, with a sharp edge menacingly pointing to the viewers. The strangeness of the structure is further emphasized by its faceless facade, its imperfect windows, and the surrounding plantation in unusual hues and shapes. This geometric cube and its tightly closed windows promise some zealously guarded secrets, and invites and dares the viewers to discover.

Edge, oil on canvas, 24

24” x 30”
Oil on Canvas
Completed in 2022

Arid Urban Life – “Crossing”

Crossing is a somber urban snapshot, featuring a not yet crowded thoroughfare, dominated by a row of pillars planting on a grassy tram lane in the middle of the street, between two vanishing tram tracks. From these mighty pillars, which extended from top to the bottom of the canvas, protruded a complex web of beams and wires crisscrossing the entire upper half of the canvas, as if wanting to imprison the indistinct highrises and the surrounding early morning gray sky in the backdrop.

In the foreground, a slouching pedestrian, isolated from everything and everyone, setting about to traverse one of the tracks. His detached form and uncertain posture enhanced the somnambulist atmosphere of this picture of parched and flinty urban life.

Crossing, oil on canvas, 20"x24", 2020 Crossing
oil on canvas
20″ x 24″

Unsettling “Subterrane”

When I made figurative paintings, I was often drawn to unusual and striking settings, manifested in my 2020 oil painting Subterrane. This urban painting featured a young man in red and blue, standing in the foreground of a dark underpass, whose massiveness dwarfed and weighted down the slight person who peered at the viewers quizzically and uncertainly. Through the far end of the structure, bright light penetrated into the gloomy underpass and shone the ceiling, the floor, and the tilting walls in bold gestures. In complementary colors, some trees and block buildings they protected could be gleaned at the opening of the structure, counterbalancing and stabilizing the hesitant figure, whose hunched posture suggested something unsettling within.

Subterrane, oil on canvas, 20"x24", 2020
oil on canvas

Domain ⁠— Familiarity, Sameness, and Subtle Variations

Domain was another painting completed during the height of the COVID pandemic, when my daily sphere shrank to my humble dwelling. Besieged by the sameness of familiar settings, I found some distractions from my bright kitchen, from the geometric patterns composed by a few household objects, to the contrast between the hard edges of those objects and the morphic shapes of their shadows, cast by the ever-changing, captivating lights. I recorded this solace with this painting, a study of familiarity, sameness, and subtle variations.

Domain, oil on canvas, 28"x22", 2021
Oil on Canvas
28” x 22”
Completed in 2021

A Glimpse of Relief ⁠—”Narrow Confinement”

In the last couple of years, like many people, I was largely home-bound, and some reliable distractions and relief came through the courtesy of some windows facing the outside world, where some birds and squirrels rambled undisturbed by the upheavals in the human sphere. 

When those carefree creatures failed to meet their appointments, I would ramble to a hallway window with a view to the house next door, whose bold and rich coat of deep blue, orange, and marron would jolt me into sharp alert. It was endlessly fascinating to notice how the colors shifted with the weather and to observe how those rich hues seeped into the hallway and tinted the plain off-white walls and ceiling colorful and alluring. Gradually, these shades moved and shimmered, like quivering butterfly wings, tantalizing and comforting yet somewhat overwhelming and alarming. 

This sight formed the foundation of my metaphorical painting, Narrow Confinement, which recorded the narrow sliver of the comfort allowed me during the trying time and was much appreciated.

Narrow Confinement, oil on canvas, 28"x22", 2021
Narrow Confinement
28” x 22”, Oil on Canvas
Completed in 2021

Uncertain “Prospect”

An open, terraced, and desiccated field, dominated by a truss tower of industrial scale, dwarfed by the vault of leaden clouds, served as the backdrop of a small-scaled human drama, which centered on a lone figure looking toward the city silhouette in the distance, as if contemplating his or her future, in the region unknown. All these formed the subject of my landscape painting, Prospect, which suggested some inner turmoil without resorting to gestural embellishments – understated but impactful. I am pleased with the contrast between the vast landscape and the insignificant figure who got lost amid the cold and uninviting surroundings.

Prospect, oil on canvas, 22"x28", 2021

Touching Landscape Painting – “Still Water”

Several years ago, while traveling to Seattle, I encountered an unusual man-made lake, whose smooth surface was dotted with numerous bleached tree stumps, scattering across large swatches of the water surface. These turned out not to be tree stumps, rather relics or ruins of former workers’ dormitory sheds, which were abandoned and flooded with the change of the industries. The moving and melancholic image of the disappeared past haunted me ever since, and later the stumps-dotted lake and the ghost town underneath became the subject of my landscape oil painting Still Water, aiming to capture the poignancy of the sight.

Still Water - 靜水 - Stilles Wasser
Still Water
Oil on Canvas
30” x 40”
Completed in 2020