PaperCity Magazine

September 2016 - Houston

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Page 106 of 197

"I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO GLOBALIZE THE CHINESE CULTURE. THAT'S WHAT I DO. SO NOW I HAVE A TRUE MEDIUM. PAINTING."— Michael Chow There are conceptual artists, but that is not my kind of painting. Exporting Chinese culture. Unfortunately, China has declined for almost 1,000 years. The only thing one can be proud of besides Peking Opera, is maybe Ming furniture. The 20th century was the worst century for China. China suffered so much. Humiliation from foreign powers, floods, civil war … Blood runs wild in the streets. World War II. Now is a renaissance. Now we have reversed ourselves. Newborn, since the 8-8-8 Olympics. And I'm lucky to be alive now. I've always wanted to globalize the Chinese culture. Now I have a true medium. In China, painting, poetry, sculpture, music is the ultimate. The spirit of Chinese painting and calligraphy is oneness, one breath. All that energy is incorporated into my work Canvases as terrain and sculpture. My painting, because it is three- dimensional, is half sculpture. Because it's sculpture, the material becomes very important, very personal. It is unlike abstract expressionists, where it is very important to be flat. These paintings are expressionist collages, and collage, as you know, has been around for a hundred years … Collage is a movement, in my opinion, that is very underrated. On environmental concerns. My paintings are all landscapes. There is one I call Sunset at Pacific Vortex. Do you know what Pacific Vortex is? A huge waste, a hundred years of man's waste, mostly plastic, swirled by nature, by the sea, and made into the size of Texas. Nobody talks about it. So in my painting, Sunset, man is dying. Sea is dying. We don't have much time. Seas die, we die. So, there's some of that in my work. It's a form of landscape; from the pain and suffering and deterioration of man, you create a new meaning, awareness. Artists throughout history have done so. Turner was always aware of current situations. He rebelled against slavery. Goya protested about the war. That's what artists do. Expressionist artists. Your materials: the egg, the silver. Is there a metaphorical meaning? Some of it has. In the early paintings I used knee pads, pants, or a glove, (Continued on page 104) The artist's working shoes rest on his paint- encrusted studio floor. 103

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