Taiwanese artist gets eccentric

Rua Pokladnik

If Ames artist Zoe Li-Ming Liu could use one word to describe her paintings, it would be “interesting.”

“I try to deal with two different things always — male-female, logical-irrational, or Western-Eastern, Chinese-American,” she says of her paintings. “There’s many different things happening in my art.”

Liu’s paintings are a combination of traditional Chinese painting and western abstract expressionism. The paintings are on display at Firstar Bank, 405 Main Street, in association with the Octagon Center for the Arts.

Letitia Hansen, Shop Manager at the Octagon, believes that Liu’s artwork exudes emotion.

“The feeling I get when I see work like this is that it’s very personal work, and that she’s very close to it,” Hansen says. “She’s close to it, and she expects the viewer to be close to it.”

Among Liu’s influences are traditional Chinese paintings, the abstract work of Henri Matisse and the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock.

“The philosophy of Pollock’s approach has long been familiar to the Chinese painter and calligrapher,” Liu said. “At the same time, the rational part of my art began to employ brushes to create the aesthetic view of unity between the heavens and humankind, as represented in Tang and Sung dynasty painting. With this goal, I have created my own style of painting as a professional artist.”

Liu’s painting, “The Song of Mouse,” is an abstract in oil and watercolor, made up of four 8-by-10 panels.

“In my art, the character of mouse appears,” Liu said, as cited in her artist’s statement. “I use this image because it is common to people of every degree of curiosity, intelligence, and circumstance.”

“To me, an artist does not only work for the sake of the art, but to bring their style of art to society, sharing with others,” she added.