My 2022 oil painting, Disperse, captures a hallucinatory moment of a nighttime landscape — between the silhouettes of two monumental and interlocking trees, a group of tiny figures scurrying by, running away from their familiar ground, their fates, their tormentors or captors. The specificities are intentionally omitted, so as to leave the viewers to interpret freely and to fill in the missing details, though the title does hint at diaspora stories in the headlines of late.
Disperse, oil on canvas, 20″x30″, 2022
This piece will be part of the juried exhibition “Within Sight or From Imagination” at GearBox Gallery, 770 West Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94612 (August 10 – September 9, 2023). Juror: Jeremy Morgan. Opening Reception: August 12, Sat., 1 to 4 pm | Juror’s talk: September 2, Sat., 2 pm
“Luminous” is a translucent landscape in the midst of a thorough purification – loaded yet still airy rain clouds release a generous yet gentle downpour, which rushes into the solid ground and continues to overflow in the already soaked terrain. The dark clouds, and darker soil, rendered the space in between even brighter, as if backlit, glowing, and luminous. Above the warm earth, the cool rain and clouds leave a refreshing impression.
Luminous 9” x 12” Gouache on paper Completed in 2022
“Whirl” explores patterns, rhythms, and perspective in an abstract world consisting of a series of imperfect and progressively smaller concentric circles, which superimpose over a background of pale pink from the top and dark gray at the bottom, and vanish to the center of a muddied white hue, therefore lead the viewers to a hidden world somewhat beyond reach. The gentle contrasts amongst these muted colors, which seep into each other like liquids, enhance the impenetrability of the sphere.
“Autumn Rain” is a semi-abstract inspired by a rainy landscape. I endeavored to capture the pleasant wetness enveloping the fields and hills, and the wonderful interplay of cool and warm hues in the rich fall season. Bold and patchy strokes obliterated the contours of easily identifiable objects and rendered the landscape into almost pure patterns and rhythms.
Autumn Rain 9” x 12” Gouache on paper Completed in 2021
“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.
“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.
“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 22” x 28” Oil on Canvas Completed in 2022
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.
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.