To mark the unveiling of the Hue & Loi Gallery at Meggen in Luzern, paintings and sculptures are on display based on a love story. A fairy tale of pure love at first sight which began on Christmas Day 1986 in London. Since then, Hue and I have felt an extraordinarily courageous and unwavering bond for one another having seemingly survived an impossible journey beginning with a love distance relationship and subsequent life struggles spanning Singapore, Vietnam, England and Switzerland.
Our story is retold through artwork to celebrate 36 years of commitment with my first solo art exhibition at our gallery.
Each of us sees and perceives things differently due to our individual experiences and influences from our culture and environment. These factors consciously and unconsciously impact our perception and can act as filters for our prejudices and impressions.
I work with the phenomena of transparency and light to widen one’s view. As in life, everything is constantly evolving with time as does, light. My paintings are based on stained glass windows, inspired by the idea that the path well lit feels safer while the poorly lit path appears more perilous. I invite the viewer to look at my paintings with an open mind.
An open mind allows one to discover another dimension to life. One should not take anything for granted whether that be happiness or indeed any emotion and whether or or not it may last. In art, experiencing and exploring are indispensable, since artworks are not just about colour, form and subject matter but can reflect the depths of the soul.
Since childhood I have been fascinated with pure colours. Flying kites, Chinese fireworks and the neon lights in Vietnam and Hong Kong and later influences; the dramatic stained glass displays at York Cathedral's Rose windows and more modern designs by John Piper at Coventry Cathedral in England.
As an architect for over 25 years, I have created buildings where daylight was among the most important design consideration for peoples' comfort and well-being. Later as a master planer for new towns and villages in the UK and Far East, building configuration became increasingly important, especially in the harsh climate conditions of northern China where daylight was limited.
Having worked as an architect rather than an artist for many years, I believe in flexibility and adaptability as well as non-conformity in creativity. Freedom gives one unlimited ways to express ideas whether classical, romantic, impressionist right through to modern abstract form. Different styles add diversity. Experiencing life is about new discoveries not a straight-jacket one must wear for life.
My pictures are whole. They have a front, a back and a hidden side which only shows itself in the light. Rather than restricting one to a board or even a wall in a small studio, a floor gives me further supportive backup for my paintings, similar to abstract paintings created by Jack Pollock. These aspects and experiences that I have had in life enable me to view and create three dimensional works of art from different perspectives.
New painting techniques to experiment with: paint following the course of nature, changing with time and lighting conditions. Sometime you can see it, sometimes you can not. It's transient like flowers; as in life, constantly different. Each can be seen as three images or three dimensions of one painting. As even we can have multiple faces; appearances can be deceptive, what is our true self?
Our perception of ourselves person is based on impressions influenced by past and present, our reaction at any given time, almost instinctual. Our emotions and our mood also influence our actions. These essential factors impression, instinct and mood apply in my paintings based on the use of light.
My transparency and light artwork as a creation resulted from painting water based colour with layers of paper glued together. A painting process that allows nature to interact with life, merging together, like flowing water, the energy source of life. As in life, everything is interconnected, harmony and conflict. Therefore not just with the colours, forms and finished surfaces are designed and intended as one.
The artwork was created from the work in paper, meaning the paper is a medium itself. Art through differing use of paper leads to endless unexpected possibilities which I find fascinating. The art pieces can be displayed freely, against a wall, window, or hung freely to capture individual forms when the light shines through the art, highlighting its beauty and authenticity.
My inspiration to produce transparency and light artwork has to do with the dynamic diversities in all forms of life filled by light, ranging from people’s faces to nature. A small and subtlety adjusted technique achieved by giving more light either by means of natural or artificial sources results in a modified image. The light inevitably changes as it moves with time, leaving a different impression every time it is viewed.
My transparent artwork is akin to a new 'life' entity. It evolves into a new form of life under a support system of a coloured LED light panel, as blood pumps through the body to sustain life. At first glance my artwork does not appear to hold the true beauty that it would until light dances through it.
Bringing light, colour and emotion to life are the central themes of my artistic aspirations. See Lightme videos to see how my work changes with light.