How would you describe your art?
I generally paint landscapes. After I paint these landscapes I like to paint the
creatures that live in them. My partner Ben likes to describe them as psychedelic
landscapes, and I like that description and often use it, although these
landscapes aren’t drug induced, as people often assume.
Do you start with a blank canvas and see what appears, or is the full vision in your head when you start?
It depends. Sometimes I start in a corner drawing whatever comes to mind and
then decide as I go along what I want to put down, the possibilities are limitless
with a big blank canvas. I’m often pretty excited when I have a fresh surface to
start on. Just cover up that white! Sometimes I’ll put down a thick swatch of
colour and expand from those colours. Sometimes, I’ll come back from a run in
one of the many forested trails in Squamish and be so excited to paint because I
saw sunlight trickle through the leaves and hit the mossy ground at just the right
How has a very regimented early childhood in communist China impacted your creative process?
I think it has impacted my creative process in that, now, I try not to be afraid to
“break the rules”. When I was a child, at a very early age, there were rules and
regulations for everything! These included things like how to sit in class, how to
walk in an orderly line home from school, how to salute and march……I was
always afraid I would be caught and punished, which believe me, did happen! It
is a strange feeling to know that your behavior and thoughts are watched,
regulated and controlled. The stress of that is hard to shake…..
[pullquote]”I like creating a space I can feel comfortable in” [/pullquote]
Now, when I paint, if something doesn’t look right I’m not afraid to just paint over
it, plus I think it adds to the layered affect of the paintings. I always try to remind
myself that these “mistakes” are what makes the painting in the end and adds to
the narration. There is no end to the process, I can cover it up and paint over it
and it will all still be there on the canvas, it’s never-ending and I find that
I realized recently that each painting I have finished I could keep on painting and
adding to for the rest of my life but I could also just finish and never paint on it
again. I try to remind myself while I am painting that nothing is as precious as it
seems…..It sounds easy to do but hard to achieve!
How has that same early experience shaped how you live your life in Squamish.
I try to enjoy each day as much as possible. Either go for a bike ride, a run, a hike or climbing.
Breathing the fresh air and listening to the sounds of the forest is important to me and helps me with my thoughts. Squamish is growing at such a fast rate that there are places I know won’t be here in a year or two, so I try to go to those forested places before they are gone.
What’s your favourite meal in Squamish?
Refresh roll at Kozo Cafe!..soon to be Oryzae
How long have you been in Squamish?
I have lived in Squamish for about 7 years now.
Where can people find you online?