My Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy
Calligraphy demonstration, Astor Court,
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, Feb 4, 2012
Metropolitan Museum of Art Feb 4, 2012
Calligraphy workshop for children, Piscataway Public Library,
New Jersey, July 16, 2011
At home with my ink painting and calligraphy
Performing calligraphy at
Tzu Chi Foundation,
New York City, 2007
Me at fifteen painting an oil portrait
of Brigitte Bardot. From South
China Morning Post article
Teaching calligraphy at
City University of New York
How I Became an Artist
When I was fourteen -
“If you dare to try to become an artist, I swear I’ll break your legs!”Mother retorted. “Then you want me to be a beggar?”
“Yes, because there’s no difference from being an artist!” This working out of karma, as so often, was bittersweet. Mother’s broken dream was fulfilled in me.
My first teacher was Hong Kong’s most famous oil portraitist and an “old man” in his late fifties. A bond quickly developed between us. Every Saturday, even with a headache or cramps, I’d pick up my heavy wooden paint box and take the ferry to his house. When I arrived, the door was already open with the rich aroma of hot chocolate rushing to greet my nostrils.
A year later, my teacher recommended me for inclusion in the annual exhibition of the Contemporary Chinese Artists’ Guild. Since I was the youngest member ever admitted, newspapers were eager to interview me. Mother, proud of her discovery of my other talent, hired another teacher to tutor me in Chinese painting and calligraphy at home. The Guild continued to exhibit my paintings every year until I left to study music in Paris.
Now my favorite subject of painting is Guan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of Compassion. Before I began, I would light incense, meditate, then recite the 360 word Heart Sutra. I prayed that the Goddess would guide my hands to reveal her beauty, wisdom, and compassion. My prayers seem to be always answered, for each time as her serene face began to manifest on the fragile rice paper, my heart would swell with the wonder of the Dharma!
In 2002, I had a solo painting and calligraphy exhibition in SoHo, New York City, and in 2008, I teach a calligraphy workshop at the City University of New York.
Click here to see my painting and calligraphy events