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Zoe Liu

"Let'em Play" Series



This series is focused on bringing awareness to the public (esp. Asian community) of letting children to explore the world through play. Playtime is an integrative role for children’s development before they enter their adulthood. When children play, they solve problems and experience themselves as competent and masterful individuals. Through free play, children are able to discover and invent solutions to challenges. In this series, I am questioning how we keep that fun, childlike freedom well and never let age or high-pressure education style extinguish the fire of our inner child? 

Watermelon ball in this series represents the innocence, uncompetitive, simplicity moment that we all longing for, it is why the ball is always the eye catching focus in the artworks. Children are faceless, symbolizing the collective society where individualism is not fully encouraged. Figures here are soulless-like in grey tones and transparent looks, it is because of the spirits are suppressed and crushed by the society expectation as well as heavy workloads, but the hidden pastel child-like colors in the background are giving the hope on foreseeing and promising to bloom once these children reach the watermelon ball.​

當孩子們玩耍時,他們會解決問題,並將自己視為有能力的人。通過遊戲,孩子們能夠發現及發明解決挑戰的方案,讓孩子們通過遊戲來探索世界。 在這個系列中,會問問我們如何為孩子保持有趣遊戲的自由,從而不讓成人或高壓教育風氣撲滅了孩子內心的火焰? 這個系列中的兒童是沒有面相的,象徵著兒童沒有了自己的獨特個性。畫面以灰色調子和透明來營造一種被社會的期望和沈重的工作量壓垮的氣氛,作品中出現一個<西瓜波>,代表著我們都渴望可以遊戲的純真,成為畫中的焦點,更成為兒童預見的希望。

Work process for the series:
The impetuous brushstrokes are purposely created for a more dynamic quality in the paintings. I employ the wet-on-wet technique with ink, in which ink is applied to a previously administered layer of water. Before applying the ink to the water, I have to carefully estimate how much ink I need. The value mostly depends on the interaction between water and ink and the absorption of the paper. This process also requires great patience as I have to carefully apply a new stroke according to the form of the previous stroke to avoid accidents. Although this process demands a fast way of working high precision and great patience, it is still full of fun since it embraces unpredictability. The ink just blooms in unpredictable ways so every painting in the series has its own uniqueness even all of them are created with the same technique.  In the meantime, I have to consider how to apply the pastel to the background and the charcoal for the figures and their gestures, which add more challenges to the making of the paintings. For the highlights and the tonal value, I repeatedly apply the additive and reductive method. 


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