My paintings are often described by others as ‘romantic’ and ‘melancholy’. Flowers are the constant subject of my art, and above all, my passion lies in painting peonies – the national flower of China – reflecting my deep love and nostalgia for the country of my birth.
Among all the different styles of Chinese painting, I like gongbi the most – its fine and elegant strokes are perfect for portraying the delicate beauty of flowers. However, the extreme delicacy and meticulousness required in the gongbi technique also makes itself a test of patience and spiritual equilibrium – such qualities are now rare to see in fast-paced modern society. I take joy from this ‘trial’ every time when I paint, and experience it as a self-meditation, as a quiet respite from a hectic modern life. The traditional ‘Four Treasures of the Study’ used in Chinese painting – brush, ink, paper and ink stone – creates a tangible atmosphere of Chinese culture no matter where I am. I feel I am on a life long mission to introduce classical Chinese art and culture to the world.
My art is deeply reflective of the different cultures I grew up in – China, Netherlands and Britain. As a child in Suzhou, China, I was immersed in the artistic soil of this historical city and its rich cultural heritage such as the Classical Gardens – designed to express the poetic aesthetics of nature. When I moved to Amsterdam and Britain to study and live, I was exposed to the masterpieces from the diverse genres of Western paintings, and my artistic interests and knowledge were substantially deepened. Having absorbed the spirits of both Chinese and Western culture, my paintings are a reflection of the three places of art and culture.