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Land / Seascapes and Nature

Smaller Pieces






Artist Explanation of Symbols

The Girl

In my "Girl Series" I recall when I was a little girl. I loved to read ancient Chinese poems. One poem described a little girl--a sort of mountain fairy. She rides a leopard on a mountain road, picking flowers and leafs to dress herself. She is accompanied by the animals of the forest. The poem freely expresses the natural girl in a vivid and romantic way. At that time, I had already thought of painting Girl themed paintings, but because of the political environment in China, there was no place for this type of work. Art was considered only good as propaganda to serve the state. Only when I came to the United States, did the dream in my heart come freely alive, and I could paint the girls at last. The girls are full of confidence; confidence and love. They have a close relationship with nature, like the fairy in the poem--surrounded by birds, monkeys and horses--in a natural loving bond. The moon, the stars and wandering clouds recall music and poetry.

The Horse

My Chinese family name is Ma. Ma is the word for horse in Chinese. And to me the horse is a Spiritual animal, brave and free. Sometimes I love to look into their beautiful eyes. I love eyes--you can see their stories in their eyes. But in China the horse is rarely treated with kindness. Farmers often force them to pull wagons as heavy as a limousine. On one occasion, I saw a horse struggling to pull a wagon full of iron and steel. It was drizzling rain, and he was on a steep mountain road--very slippery. The horse was desperately pulling uphill against the massive load. The wagon would not move, and the horse slipped, its front hooves going back under it, causing it to collapse to its knees. A harness around its neck complicated things, as it struggled to stand up in vain. The angry farmer was more irritated and swore loudly, whipping and kicking the animal. I will never forget the look in the horses eyes--filled with despair and great sadness. I decided then, that I would use the horse in my art; treating them with human qualities because they like people are rich in emotions.


Sisters Series

In my "Sisters Series" I see my own sisters. One of them was very much like me; some even thought we were twins. We are indeed close, but our characters are completely different. In my paintings, I want to express the closeness, but also, the difference.

During Mao's Great Leap Forward, I had an experience which affects me to this day. The Great Leap Forward was actually a leap off a cliff--a horrible time of suffering for China. Food was hard to get. One day my Mother was very ill and couldn't cook or go out. We had to go to a restaurant to buy food. My older sister was with me and told the women behind the counter that our mother was sick and we wanted to take some food home for her. They angrily and adamantly refused. They wouldn't sell food unless you consumed it there--to this day I don't know why. But it cut into my heart and made me feel like we were living in a hostile place where people were like iron against us. Today this feeling shows up in my Sisters series. At times, I will paint the two girls standing in a bleak or dangerous environment. But I also show a large eye in the sky, showing there is hope, and Someone watching who is above the government and the people.

I was born in Kunming inYunnan Province in southwestern China. Yunnan is a high plateau and Kunming is a city in an Alpine-like valley. Because of mountains and tropical areas Yunnan has a huge variety of plants. There are also a lot of unique ethnicities too, and it is rich in ancient legends and stories. I remember my childhood and often paint the dreams of children and young people in a poetic way. Then, my subjects have a far-away look, thinking of past years of adolescent hope and fantasy, or dreaming of the beautiful places of home.









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artist statement:

Seeking the peaceful side of life, I paint the colorful dreams of childhood. I paint the serene poetry found in nature. I paint the peaceful harmony between humans and nature.