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Artist Statement

Color is the fundamental essence of my paintings. I am inspired by The Blue Rider painters and Henri Matisse, in particular, their bright colors express an awe directed at human life intersecting in the natural world. I often use pure, distinct and strongly contrasted colors to create a robust visual impact to convey my emotions. Depth of color and tone are my additional means to bring life to my work. Deploying bold, inventive colors with simplified imagery, I create unique ways of articulating the world around me. 


Two notable artists should be credited with every piece of artwork I create. A Chinese artist based in Beijing and an American artist based in New York City, not only were my esteemed teachers but also rescued me on a human level.


I was born in Beijing and had a passion for art at an early age. While I was eager to learn the mighty Cultural Revolution began. Arts in all forms were forbidden; only Mao’s portraits and his Red Books were available. Schools were paralyzed; a whole nation of youth was denied a diverse education. One day, a friend told me that her brother was taking private art lessons from her father and I was welcome to join him. The father, 陈永祥 (Chen Yong Xiang, 1925 – 2012), who I found out years later was a prominent artist, opened a formal and well-organized art school in his home for just the two of us. The lessons ran a full day every day and carried on for months. There I was taught and mastered fundamental drawing and oil painting skills. To this day, my gratitude for him is beyond anything I can express in words.

In 1984, I was accepted as an engineering graduate student by City College in New York. Being in the center of the world of art, my childhood dream of becoming a painter resurfaced. Without delay I transferred to the Art School within the campus. There I studied with an established artist, Professor Madeleine Gekiere  (1919-2014), who again changed my artistic trajectory. For the first time I was exposed to the movements of Impressionism and Abstract Art. I was fascinated! In order for me to depart from the heretofore realism in my work, Gekiere insisted that I repeatedly paint a single object over and over in each class for an entire semester. In the end, I completed a series of paintings of the same object but interpreted differently in each rendering. Her effective method indeed forced me to use my imaginations and develop my creative ability.  Professor Gekiere noticed I was struggling financially; she connected me to her close friend artist Roz Roose. Roz kindly provided me a room in her Manhattan apartment so I could focus on my studies. I stayed with Roz until I graduated with an MFA in 1986. 


These two remarkable artists in two different worlds, Beijing and New York, guided and influenced me in every way in my art journey. Inspired by them both, I am seeking my own style between Traditional and Abstract Arts.

Currently I am exhibiting my work at b. j. spoke gallery and D. Velez Gallery in Long Island, New York.

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