My new ink scroll painting "Continuity" for the current exhibition “Found in Translation: explorations by 8 contemporary artists” at The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art reflects on the connection between my past and present. I incorporate figurative and landscape composition and continue using long hair to explore my Chinese identity as well as family tradition that I have passed on to my daughter, like a tree with deep roots growing on adopted land in the American Midwest.
Kansas City New Airport Public Art Commission (2022)
After graduating from UC Davis, I moved to Lawrence KS in 2004. Since then, I have enjoyed living in my adopted home and fell in love with the rolling hills and the open space. My works started taking on a more dynamic flow, integrating my long hair with regional environments such as the iconic tornado, Kansas prairie and Flint hills. For the KCI new airport project, I made two horizontal charcoal drawings combining my identity of long hair and braids with Kansas tall-grass and wheat-field to depict the beauty of local nature.
Tornado Warning (2018)
This room installation at Haw Contemporary in Kansas City includes ten large paintings (each 3ft wide by 9ft high, acrylic on canvas) . They are connected as one single folded Chinese screen painting in a 30ft long half circle. Inside is a horizontally painted tornado hair image. The audience are invited to walk into the whirlwind of hair and surrounded by the swirling storm. They feel like being inside the moving tornado.
My solo show " Haywire" took place at Lawrence Arts Center. The idea comes from my life experiences both in urban China and in rural Kansas. The horizontal mixed media work “Prairie Waves” represents the open space and the flow of the Kansas Prairie. The room installation “Haywire”, however, reveals the sometimes claustrophobic and chaotic aspects of Chinese urbanization. The massive electric wires are placed sporadically on the wall and connected to the telephone poles at the corners. Two charcoal drawings of vanishing electric poles are painted directly on the walls. The commercial advertisements and posters are found on most billboards, available wall spaces as well as telephone poles. These are very real part of Chinese city life. I attempt to replicate this overwhelmed Chinese urban street scene into a small gallery space.
Environmental Study (2003)
This was my first outdoor piece inspired by the beauty of rural Maine. I created this work during my summer residency at Skowhegan in 2003. I combined an old school desk with falling branches to represent a person’s education throughout life time. The stacked branches looked like strands of hair growing from the head (the old desk) and merging into the ground (the green lawn). The found materials are not permanent, so the work also suggests the loss of time and memory.
"Found in Translation" exhibition gallery view. Photo credit: The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
58" x 240", Chinese ink on Alcantara material (Italian fabric), 2020 Photo credit: The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
Photo credit: The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
36" x 90" charcoal on paper, 2022 KCI new airport public art collection
36" x 90" Charcoal on paper,2022 KCI new airport public art collection
work in progress The Studios INC in KC
Artist at work The Studios INC in KC
This large room installation includes 10 acrylic paintings on canvas (each 9ft h x 3ft w) that are connected together in a half circle as one single room installation piece ( 9ft h x 30ft w total) and finished in 2018 for a solo show " Tornado Warning" at Haw Contemporary in Kansas City.
3ft x 9ft (each) 9ft x 30ft( 10 panels), acrylic on canvas, 2018
4 connected paintings, 9ft H x 3ft W each, acrylic on canvas, 2018
4ft x 32ft, mixed media (drawing, straw bales, board) at Lawrence Arts Center, 2012
6000ft cable wires, 7 old telephone poles, charcoal drawings and posters on the wall at Lawrence Arts Center 2012
Charcoal drawing on one side of the wall
Charcoal drawing on the other side of the wall
Installation (school desk and branches), Approx 25ft long at Skowhegan Artist residency in Maine, 2003