A R T I S T S T A T E M E N T
My painting series is intended to capture precious moments; people appreciating simple enjoyments in their fast-paced city life.
I was born and grew up in a city—Hong Kong. Living in a city can be wonderful because it is convenient, crowded, and fast-paced; yet, it can also be stressful due to the keen competitions within a constrained society. I was lucky that I could finally take a break from the stressful life when I did my undergraduate school in a rural area in the United States—Merced, CA. After my four years of college life, my perspective of life has changed. It taught me to appreciate and enjoy life in a simply way. Now that I am back living in the city—San Francisco—and being an artist, both my internal and physical eyes are wide open. Observation is one of the most important things that artists should do; while my heart always desires to search for beautiful moments of simple enjoyment in a competitive and stressful city.
The figures in my paintings are people that I am familiar with in my life. They are mainly my friends and my students at my pre-school art studio. In a couple of the paintings of children playing toys, I even used the best natural light source to reflect the abundant colors in the children’s skin tones and in shadows. One of my paintings Joel the Train Lover captures the best moment of Joel playing his favorite toy—wooden train and train track—at the art studio under the warm sunlight. Joel is my three years old student who comes to our pre-school art class. Every time when his mother dropped him off, he would cry. Thus, I would always build the train track with him to distract and comfort him. The painting was captured when he was finally calmed down and began to dive into his own little wonderland. When Joel is fully concentrated in enjoying his toy, the famous “Joel posture” would always appear—one leg sticking out while hiding the other one. The warm sunlight shining from the back of Joel and hitting on his fair hair, chubby face and little arms automatically becomes the focal area of the painting. Both the casting shadow of window frame and the glowing train track in the foreground are the important “lines" that helps guiding the direction of eye flow back to Joel and his toys. Once audiences’ eyes are focused back onto Joel, Joel’s eye direction seems to guide eye flow toward outside of the canvas. Joel is looking at somewhere far away—far away that only inner eyes could see into Joel’s imagined wonderland. Since all kinds of simple enjoyment require freedom and hope, I used semi-loose brush strokes, interesting shapes of value patterns and vibrant colors to depict the ideas in all my paintings.
Even though the subjects of my paintings are straight forward, my intent is to bring hope to people who might be struggling with living and working in the city life. I believe simple enjoyment could happen anywhere as long as you are willing to open your internal eyes and search for it.