LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李 澧 榆

b. 1 9 9 1  ( H o n g  K o n g )

Zoe Liu was born and raised in Hong Kong and currently resides in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. Liu graduated with a BFA from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, with Outstanding Undergraduate Awards in Drawing and Digital Imaging. She currently worked as a teaching artist at Honolulu Museum of Art School. Her works have been showcased in Hawaiʻi, Chicago, Portland, Las Vegas, Hong Kong and Singapore. She recently took part in a two-person exhibition Let’em Flee (2017) in the Hawaii Pacific University Gallery and also participated in “Art at Large”(2017), Construction Barricade Mural at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

Yet grew up in Hong Kong and received higher education in United States, art gives Liu a different perspective and allows her to communicate in a visual manner, without the barriers of language. She primarily employs ink, watercolor, pastel, charcoal and gesso on paper and investigates existential questions, social contradictions, and education issues. In particular issues about silencing and forced-feeding education style.
 

李澧榆出生香港,現居夏威夷。她畢業於夏威夷大學馬諾阿主校的純藝術 系,並獲得繪畫及數位藝術本科傑出學生獎。現擔任檀香山藝術學院的藝 術導師。她的作品曾在夏威夷,芝加哥,波特蘭, 拉斯維加斯,香港及新加坡參展。最近 於夏威夷太平洋大學舉辦雙人展 “Let’em Flee” (2017),又受邀參與在夏 威夷大學舉辦的"Art at Large”(2017) 壁畫創作。

因為中西文化差異的教育背景,藝術讓李澧榆可以用不同的角度、在不受 語言限制的情況下,以視覺效果來表達她的想法。 她主要以水墨、水彩、 粉彩、炭支及石膏 於紙上創作,從而探討人類存在價值、社會矛盾及教育 界存在的問題。尤其對填鴨式教育制度及壓制言論所引起的社會問題特別 關注。

Artist's CV

"Let'em Play" Series   
" " 西瓜波 " 系 列    

 
Let them be Kids

Let them be Kids

(Let'em Play Series) Ink, Charcoal, Pastel, Watercolor on Paper H 76 cm x W 152 cm / 2018 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

Let them be Kids
 

Idea behind this work:

To make the figures appear more dynamic and rhythmic with the brushstrokes, I intermingle the loose lines and thicker ink strokes on the watercolor background. I maintain the low-value contrast to attain a harmonious ink layer. The hovering books and paper on the right side of the image represent children’s liberation from an overload of work and study, a so-called key to success. The drifting papers create an illusional space and present a more dynamic image. The brushstrokes and the floating books in loose contour lines and paper act as adornments to the figures and the watermelon ball. The painting depicts the physical expressions and emotions of the kids who are running through chaos to pursue their hope and freedom.

 

作品理念:
為了令畫中人物看起來更生動,呼應水墨筆法的節奏,我在以水彩畫成的背景上,加上又輕又幼,且其色調對比與較粗筆法協調的線條。圖右的書本和紙張,是一些所謂能帶給孩子成功的關鍵要素,它們在空中飄浮代表孩子從繁重的學業和沈重的考試壓力中解放。浮游的紙張既能製造更多空間的錯覺,又能令作品更顯動感。書和紙以輪廓的形式呈現,把觀眾的視覺集中在孩子和西瓜球上。這幅作品繪畫了孩子在混沌當中依然能保持純真,追逐自己的夢想和自由。
 

Let’s Break the Hectic

Let’s Break the Hectic

(Let'em Play Series) Ink, Charcoal, Pastel, Watercolor on Paper H 76 cm x W 152 cm / 2018 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

Let’s Break the Hectic

 

Idea behind this work:
This piece captures the moment that a kid kicks the watermelon ball across the playground. The fluttering composition paper and ink splashes representing hustle and stress inundate the child-like pastel color meaning innocence and purity in the background. The pink colored ground represents the kid’s comfort zone. The image depicts a kid going through a breakthrough, an attempt to break free from the hustle and bustle and step out of his comfort zone. The kid is brave and bold; he isn’t afraid of being a maverick but finds this fulfilling instead. The inspiration of this work comes from the recent explosion of interest in downshifting lifestyle in Hong Kong. 

 

作品理念:
這幅畫捕捉了孩子在操場上踢西瓜球的瞬間。畫中的潑墨代表現實生活的壓力, 由粉彩畫成、充滿童真色彩的背景代表人與生俱來的純真,原稿紙和粉紅色的地下各代表繁忙的生活和舒適圈。孩子使勁一踢,象徵一種突破,試圖踢走勞碌的生活和踏出舒適圈。 孩子既勇敢又大膽,他不但不怕特立獨行,且非常享受這種對生活的追求。創作靈感來自近年受香港人追捧的「慢活」生活態度。
 

Play! Play! Play!

Play! Play! Play!

(Let'em Play Series) Ink, Charcoal, Pastel, Watercolor on Paper H 76 cm x W 152 cm / 2018 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

Play! Play! Play!

 

Idea behind this work: 
Many Asian fathers work insanely long hours for their families. Therefore, they unfortunately fail to show love and care to their children. Love of a father contributes much to the children's development and thus it becomes the core idea of this piece of work. In this painting, the father and the son are having quality time together. From the father’s gestures, bowing down to the kid’s level to his physical characteristics, big hands and muscular body, all of them manifest the image of a loving father, who provides protection and sense of security. The freezing father and son moment stresses the longing for the family togetherness. 

 

作品理念:
在亞洲國家,大多數的爸爸都需長時間工作,令孩子缺乏父愛。父親的關心和陪伴在孩子成長的過程中發揮重要的作用。這幅作品正描繪父親與兒子享受親子時光。父親彎下腰來遷就兒子。父親有著大手掌和強壯的身體,充分表現了他保護孩子和給予安全感的形象。定格的人物強調對親子時光的渴望。
 

"Let'em Play" Series   
" 西瓜波 " 系 列   

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. 

 

創作過程:
為了令畫面看起來更有動感,我利用了濕碰濕的技巧,先在紙上鋪上一層水,然後把墨滴在水上,讓它隨水而流動。畫中呈現出來的色調很大程度取決於水與墨的融和程度和紙張的吸濕度,所以在正式落筆之前,我反覆觀察及試驗,來定出墨的份量。另外,這個程序亦相當花時間,由於落墨後便無法修改,每次要待一筆乾了後,按照其形態,才能下另一筆。這項工序講求俐落的動作、極高的準繩度和無限耐性,充滿挑戰性。而且,創作中的未知性,不僅帶來無窮樂趣,亦成就了多幅獨一無二的畫作。此系列的製作難度除了來自水墨部分,還有背景中粉彩和用來畫人的木炭應用,當中運用了增減的方式,以造出合適的陰影和色調。
 

"Let'em Play" Series Booklet

"Let’em Eat Buns" Series   
" 菠 蘿 包 " 系 列  

 
What a Mess

What a Mess

(Let’em Eat Buns series) Ink, Charcoal, Pastels and Gesso on Paper Mixed Media on Paper H 122 cm x W 213 cm 2014 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

The New Fashion

The New Fashion

(Let’em Eat Buns series) Ink, Gesso, Charcoal, Watercolor and Pastels on Paper Mixed Media on Paper H 56 cm x W 76 cm 2014 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

The Followers  主流意見

The Followers 主流意見

(Let’em Eat Buns series) Ink, Gesso, Charcoal, Watercolor and Pastels on Paper Mixed Media on Paper H 122 cm x W 244 cm 2014 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

"Let’em Eat Buns" Series   
" 菠 蘿 包 " 系 列  

The Buns Series looks at parenting and educational traditions in Hong Kong that value obedience, memorization and drilling rather than independence and analytical thinking. This “force-feeding” is made evident in the drawings with the Pineapple buns (菠蘿包) in the children's mouths, and through the many layers of calligraphy of common Hong Kong idioms such as “The more you work, the more you earn” and “Making money is all-important”. The repetition evokes nagging parental scolding and the act of copying text, a common punishment in classrooms. 

 

The figures are rendered in loose gestures but the ridiculous buns are hyper- realistic. The buns are symbolic of the supreme life goal in Chinese culture - getting enough food for the family. The formula taught to me was hard work = good grade = good job = bright future = food to eat (搵食)/earn enough basic needs. 
 

"Let’em Eat Buns" Series Booklet

"Let'em Flee" Series   
" 逃 " 系 列  

 
Jumping Off

Jumping Off

(Let'em Flee Series) Mixed Media on Paper (ink, watercolor, charcoal and pastel) H 92 cm x W 45 cm 2017 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

Sinking In

Sinking In

(Let'em Flee Series) Mixed Media on Paper (ink, watercolor, charcoal and pastel) H 91 cm x W 44 cm 2017 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

Soaking up

Soaking up

(Let'em Flee Series) Mixed Media on Paper (ink, watercolor, charcoal and pastel) H 95 cm x W 45 cm 2017 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

Diving down

Diving down

(Let'em Flee Series) Mixed Media on Paper (ink, watercolor, charcoal and pastel) H 92 cm x W 43 cm 2017 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

Falling

Falling

(Let'em Flee Series) Mixed Media on Paper (ink, watercolor, charcoal and pastel) H 92 cm x W 43 cm 2017 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

"Let'em Flee" Series   
" 逃 " 系 列  

Let’em Flee! is Zoe Liu’s ongoing series of mixed media drawings on paper that looks at social control in Hong Kong. 

Having grown up there Liu is intimately familiar with the consequences of score-oriented educational system and extreme parenting. Both value obedience, memorization and drilling rather than independent and analytical thinking. Many students in this high-pressure situation, as young as six years old, tragically chose to pursue freedom through suicide. The figures are rendered amidst layers of calligraphy drawn from common phrases of parental expectations and scolding. The phrases ”force-disappear” the figures through their insistence.  

 

Liu’s work explores the roots of Hong Kong's oppressive society, and how it impacts each new generation.
 

"Let'em Flee" Series Booklet

"Zero Distance" Series   
" 零 (靈) 距 離 " 系 列  

 
Distance of Spirit

Distance of Spirit

(靈/零距離) Mixed Media on Paper (ink, watercolor, charcoal and pastel) H 28 cm x W 27 cm 2017 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

Distance of Spirit

Distance of Spirit

(靈/零距離) Mixed Media on Paper (ink, watercolor, charcoal and pastel) H 28 cm x W 27 cm 2017 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

"Zero Distance" Series   
" 零 (靈) 距 離 " 系 列  

Being an immigrant in Hawaii, I am drawn to the stories of transition. How long does it take for one's spirit to settle down in a new land with new families and friends? 靈(Spirit) and 零(Zero) have the same pronunciation {ling4} in Chinese. When I ponder about the essence of spiritual distance and zero distance, a question for humanity springs forth: can two persons be physically so close but yet distant in spirits and vice versa? 

"Zero Distance" Series Booklet

"Surrounded" Series   
  
 
Surrounded 5

Surrounded 5

Mixed media on Panel (Wood) H 20 cm x W 20 cm 2019 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

Surrounded 6

Surrounded 6

Mixed media on Panel (Wood) H 20 cm x W 20 cm 2019 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

Surrounded 7

Surrounded 7

Mixed media on Panel (Wood) H 20 cm x W 20 cm 2019 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

Surrounded 8

Surrounded 8

Mixed media on Panel (Wood) H 20 cm x W 20 cm 2019 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

Surrounded 9

Surrounded 9

Mixed media on Panel (Wood) H 20 cm x W 20 cm 2019 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆

"Surrounded" Series   
  

她的藝術主張:「創作的心路歷程:新的一批作品叫做Surrounded 作品畫面當中有黑暗有光明,但黑暗永遠在小朋友的背後。想用作品思想在黑暗世代裏,下一代要背負更多的包袱, 被黑暗包圍着,如果你願意去選擇的話,你會知道光也一直存在一直圍繞着我們。畫中小朋友是比喻下一代。而這批下一代正為我們種下希望和光明的種子。小朋友冇樣貌是因為想在留給觀眾想像忖摸情感嘅空間 同時令觀眾更加Focus身體語言同畫面想帶出的訊息  。到現在在夏威夷的藝術博物館裏作教育的工作,我回想起在香港教育當中從未接觸過大自然 跟莫說尊重大自然,相反更被大人責罵dirt是污糟的,但現在在夏威夷學校是鼓勵學生到戶外經歷接觸大自然在大自然中學習,play in the dirt, messy play所以取圖畫面想跟香港的小朋友家長嘅觀眾去分享這個訊息。」

"Surrounded" Series Booklet

Contact

(852)  5112 9521  /  6554 1618

info.blinkgalleryhk@gmail.com

BLINK Gallery 齊 亮 畫 廊 @ Rm 823, 8/F, 135 Hoi Bun Road, Kwun Tong (Ngau Tau Kok MTR)

 

牛頭角 海濱路135號 宏基資本大廈 八樓823室

Opening Hours

12:00 pm to 8:00 pm (Monday - Sunday)
by appointment 

 

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The Followers  主流意見

(Let’em Eat Buns series) Ink, Gesso, Charcoal, Watercolor and Pastels on Paper Mixed Media on Paper H 122 cm x W 244 cm 2014 by LIU lai-ue, Zoe 李澧榆