After over twenty five years of searching for this new calling, I learned that art is the combination of your spirit, life experiences, and the desire for expression. It doesn’t matter what kind of format, the format becomes a secondary concern. Whether it becomes paintings, architectural design, gardens, or basic craftsmanship, all types of expression fulfill the larger scope of art. I soon realized that more than often, we as artists focus on art in one particular format. That format is unfortunately linked with making a career or entering the work force, and quickly becomes one’s way of survival. In fact, there is much more to art than the means of making a living. There is the individual character of the artist, the spirit, the creative processes, the final product, and the impact upon society. The merging of these aspects is what true artists attempt to do for art. Based on this comprehensive approach, I strongly believe that all formats of art and design intertwine – they nurture and enhance each other. For example, I may learn from dancers’ movements to enhance my Chinese brush painting strokes. By observing still life drawings, I can further understand critical thinking within the arts. From sculpture, I can grasp the process of creating architectural spatial relationships. From wandering in a traditional Chinese garden, I can appreciate a movie director’s true intentions. Therefore, if you’re using Chinese paintings, principles, and materials to represent the Western approach toward art, or vise versa, they can all create the beautiful creative process, enjoy the experience of creating, and that something can spark and clash. The format is not particularly important, it is really the process of intention, and in the end, the artist will always create a message.
I believe that the artist and the designer are always improving the dynamic interaction between heart, mind, and hand. In the creative processes, we are using plans, elevations, colors, space, light, and materials; we are analyzing them; we are deconstructing them; and we are reconfiguring them to make the best creations possible. I believe painting is a process of multiple layers. Even more, it is like the life process of planning, changing, re-planning, and re-changing. I think there is a heavy importance in learning the core basics of drawing; often times we draw the object to express the physical components, but in actuality we are communicating the care of the object through the volume and space. Within my paintings, we see the lines, but we are thinking about the space. We often work on the positive space, but we should be thinking about the space around it, the negative space. When I am painting an individual square, I should always be thinking about the relationship between squares. Just like in life, it’s the level of working on the positive, but always thinking about the negative and other relationships. “You have to know the white in order to be good with the black.” We see the immediate positive value of things, but it is important to think about how it helps us in the long run—why is it worthwhile? My painting is the reflection of the dynamic balance of yin and yang. Yin and yang cannot be separated, they cannot stand alone as one; they are constantly coexisting, integrated, and dynamically balanced throughout any process.