Collage and Oil

Title: Tear; Size: 74cm x 74cm (HxW); Medium: Oil and Collage on Canvas. [Description: More than a decade ago I was working in one of the orphanages in Northern China. This portrait is based one of the girls living there. She was then less than two years old, one of my favorite children. She was not particularly adorable or cute, or cheerful or sweet. Rather, every time I visited her, she seemed to have a drop of tear gathering around her eyes, so ready to fall. But she was not one of those crying babies either. Just a drop of tear gathering always. She was abandoned probably because of a missing foot. She moved around with her good leg and the “stub” leg quite well. If life has been more generous to her, I think she should now be a 15 or 16 years old, probably adopted by some parents from the States, and she should be running quite free with a prosthetic foot. I wish her well. I wish her tears got kissed upon and wiped away. I wish her happiness and love.]


Title: The Mongolian Boy; Size: 45cm x 62cm (HxW); Medium: Oil on Canvas [Description: Some two decades ago I worked with an NGO in Northern China. One of my jobs, at that time, was to connect the sponsored children with the donors. Every year, we sent out updates of the children, and took pictures of them. This was one of the sponsored children. He is probably of Mongolian descent because the villages I worked in was right by Inner Mongolia. When I picked up oil painting for the first time a decade after leaving that job, I pulled out this photo I took and painted the boy. I still remember that afternoon in Xiamajian (the poorest village of that prefecture I worked in). It’s a very very sunny afternoon, and the boy stood stiff like a log (most of these kids had never taken photos before) against one of those houses in Northern China, an empty house with a big bed shared by the whole family. He was looking right at me. I was looking right at him. I wished to look into his future. He wished to look into me — a stranger. What’s happened to him? I wonder. China has changed so dramatically in the past two decades. Has he moved to a big city? Is he a father of two children now? (even one child policy has been slowly dissolving in his life time) Would he remember me, a stranger, who took this photo of him?]


Hurry! Hurry!
Title: Paris; Medium: Oil and Collage on Canvas; Size: 37cm x 168cm (HxW) [Description: A whimsical piece — with fabrics of jeans forming the cityscape of Paris. An angel is on a special mission bounding for the west.]


Title: Angels in Prague; Size: 74cm x 74cm (HXW); Medium: Oil and Collage on Canvas [Description: Prague is such an idyllic place attracting millions of visitors every year. A simple stroll in the city makes every first-time visitor fall in love with its beauty. I reckon it is because there are angels in Prague sprinkling wonder dust upon the visitors.]


Title: Red Riding Hood in Enchanted Forest; Size: 18.5 inch x 29 inch; Medium: Oil on Canvass [Description: Apart from painting, I also write and illustrate picture books for children. IN 2016, at Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the mecca for children’s book authors, illustrators, publishers and sellers, I read a quote: “A picture book is a child’s first gallery.” Great illustrations do not just tell stories; they shape the aesthetic sense of a child. That’s why I take both writing and illustrating stories for children seriously and consider it a meaningful mission and a beautiful form of art. Back to this oil painting, I want to create a sense of whimsicality and therefore painted the forest slightly surreal. Little Red Riding Hood is in her classical outfit. The wolf enters the scene nonchalantly on the right. Somehow I wish the wolf and the girl have a chance encounter and perhaps even a lovely friendship. Between them I add a cherub sitting on a tree stub — hoping he might spring some magical dust upon the characters to twist the story a bit. If life sometimes spins its course so unexpectedly, why can’t we do that to a classical story?]


Title: Swine in Provence; Size: 11cm x 58cm (HxW); Medium: Oil on canvas [Description: My first attempt in Impressionist approach. I love Southern France, perhaps it’s much to do with the many impressionist masterpieces of Vincent Van Gogh. ]


Title: Storm; Size: 76cm x 93cm (HxW); Medium: Oil on Canvas [Description: This painting was done very swiftly, without much planning and thinking, at a time that my mind was in a turmoil. My hands certainly moved around the canvas way faster than my head. The result? I think the picture captures the storm that was going on inside.]


Title: Mt. Repentance (Alto del Perdón); Size: 28cm x 12cm; Medium: Oil on canvas [Description: Mt Repentance (Alto del Perdón) is on the way of the medieval pilgrimage, el Camino de Santiago de Compostela. This is my depiction of the hill. In the sky rests an angel listening to all the “repentance” of the pilgrims. The angel emits a sense of tranquility and rest. Repentance for me is not something dramatic or sorrowful. It’s simply a heart-to-heart murmur. It’s a rest. It’s a sense of inner touch. ]


Title: Penguins; Size: 10cm x 75cm (HxW); Medium: Oil on canvas [Description: My more current approach is of minimalist strokes, lots of white background. Lots of space. Room for thought.]