NEVER MISS A SUNSET
I traveled around the world to trace the sunsets. The most beautiful sunsets are always the ones
that experienced from the heart. Their silence and stillness are beyond words. It is the mystery.
Open your heart, let the mystery touch you. It's everything, everything.
I found that artful objects without context were too limited. I needed to locate that broader context in myself - as a way of better framing my emotions. The logic of narrative fell short too. I wanted the story - my story - to be absorbed into a more expansive inner world. Granted that this world was more magical and mystical even ... but it was not so limiting. Emotions rooted like this in the soil of the inner world animate themselves and me along with them. My brushes are my roots ... pushing their way out of the darkness and into the light.
I moved to San Francisco in 2007. At once I began to enthusiastically explore the city. I wandered through rich and poor neighborhoods. I visited homeless shelters and danced at fancy costume balls. I tried to receive and meet everyone and everything that came my way. I suppose I am dark by nature, but my experience of the people of this city was a revelation that brought my darkness to both life and light in newfound detail. Out of that experience of darkness came my own kind of joy. It is how I work now. The city is still my sea.
Even as a child in China, I was drawn to the sea. The deep, the blue and the mysterious has always called to me. Walking along the Northern coastline with my young son and collecting things and creatures left at the water's edge, I began a series of painting based on what I saw and collected along the shore. I studied these forms extensively before painting them, and so undertook a process of humanizing these objects and creatures to reflect the deeper and more unspoken aspects of my experience ... a mix of soft fantasy and hard fact. These works were shaped by what I experienced in myself as feminine, graceful and passionate. This is how I learned to make art my own.
In 1999 I moved from Southern China to Sonoma to marry and follow the path my family had chosen for me. I became a traditional housewife at the age of 21. While other girls my age were partying and pursuing their dreams, I was raising my son who was born a year after my arrival. Away from my family, in an unhappy marriage and isolated in a small town, I lived a life largely defined by church every weekend. I couldn't find peace through Jesus. I had a comfortable lifestyle, but my spirit was crying out and my soul was mute. My painting began as sketches of loneliness born of a desire for love.