What There Looks Like

“A Faint Halo” Liu Hsin-Ying©2019

Courtesy of the artist and Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery

“What There Looks Like” A Solo Exhibition of Liu Hsin-Ying in Singapore

Courtesy of the artist and Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery

An exercise of perception and serendipity, Liu Hsin-Ying‘s solo exhibition at Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery in Singapore invites us to discover the easy keys of What There Looks Like“.

Stretchable and whole, THERE has the great quality of integrating well-assembled details and movements in a manner only a mountain or a sea can contain.

There is a world in miniature, an expanding story and landscape, where every bit has a life of its own that becomes visible and activated thanks to a higher perspective.

If you missed THERE or you have not dared to imagine it yet, Liu Hsin-Ying will open the gates of imagination and will easily apply feelings like balm on heart to bring there to you.

There is born out of thermal reading in climates of motherhood, fecundity, love, ponds, rainbows, the morning sun or by visiting “higher and higher” where “heaven” is.

Coming from a place of senses, THERE can take the physicality of liquidity, grass, winds and music.

All Liu Hsin-Ying‘s “theres are shapes with feelings and answering voices.

THERE can be found like this: “As I stand before the blank canvas, I see all kinds of plants, woods, the sky and images emerge in a stream. Feeling how these emerging rhythms move through the body, I use lines as the layout of the movements, I create breezes and tempests in the picture. As these lineal winds sweep through, they guide the perception from the turf, the temperature and the humidity progressively to the totality of the painting’s vision. This vision records feelings that are captured, enhanced, and savoured in each moment and it takes me forward step by step, like climbing up a mountain, until I reach there ” – Liu Hsin-Ying

Painted in bright, joyful and soulful colours, Liu Hsin-Ying‘s artworks have nothing fauve about them.

Her choice of colour is genuinely light-hearted and soothing. It projects a faraway, daydreamt THERE in an anchored now, standing in front of us embraceable and filled with so many encouraging feelings of hope.

We have finally arrived…THERE

Roxana Florina Popa: Thank you for daring to visualise the places we all dream of and that maybe we do not even take the time to understand how they look like.

What does it take to imagine in detail and in colour a place we long for finding it?

“Heaven” Liu Hsin-Ying©2020

Courtesy of the artist and Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery

Liu Hsin-Ying: I don’t know what the viewer makes of such a place, because everyone in this world is able to discover and feel different things.

The world I depict perhaps intensifies and magnifies emotions that can be attributed through imagination to a given shape in a way that shape can inspire the viewer — this is what I look forward to!

I tend to enhance the emotion contained in a shape. The enhancement will in turn enable me to identify the very shape that can communicate the emotion.

My use of colour is guided by feelings more often than reasoning. I’d wait for an inner voice to tell me what colour to apply — this may sound devoid of logic, but it’s how my painting actually works.

“To Spend My Whole Life with You” Liu Hsin-Ying©2021

Courtesy of the artist and Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery

Roxana Florina Popa: While I am tempted to ask how do you travel to or discover the place “THERE”, I feel that “THERE” may rather be a state of being and feelings.

Liu Hsin-Ying: There is something I’d like to add to your statement: feelings precede the existence of “there”.

It is through the hope of seeing “there” with my own eyes that I am committed to artwork.

Roxana Florina Popa: Would you like to share with us your feelings while being “THERE”?

Liu Hsin-Ying: I understand the “feelings while being ‘THERE’” as the process of artwork, a journey I have been through in a given time.

Artist Portrait

Courtesy of the artist and Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery

As I stand before the blank canvas,

I see all kinds of plants, woods, the sky and images emerge in a stream. Feeling how these emerging rhythms move through the body, I use lines as the layout of the movements, I create breezes and tempests in the picture.

As these lineal winds sweep through, they guide the perception from the turf, the temperature and the humidity progressively to the totality of the painting’s vision.

This vision records feelings that are captured, enhanced, and savoured in each moment and it takes me forward step by step, like climbing up a mountain, until I reach “THERE”.

Roxana Florina Popa: Are you missing “there” and why?

Liu Hsin-Ying: “THERE” already exists in the painting, so I don’t have to miss it.

Instead, I’d sit in front of it and feel its presence.

Roxana Florina Popa: Is there a feeling that is everlasting and universal for the entire humanity?

Liu Hsin-Ying: I think “there” being in the painting will last forever.

Bit by bit, it will also reach the heart of the viewer.

“What There Looks Like” A Solo Exhibition of Liu Hsin-Ying in Singapore

“Layer Upon Layer” Liu Hsin-Ying©2019 (left side)

Courtesy of the artist and Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery

Roxana Florina Popa: Which is the colour of motherhood?

Liu Hsin-Ying:

Motherhood involves a kind of tolerance, as if a lot of water is contained THEREin, so that the colours and lines acquire a succulent quality.

“Fecundity” Liu Hsin-Ying©2019

Courtesy of the artist and Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery

Roxana Florina Popa: What is the main and foremost quality of “THERE”?

Liu Hsin-Ying: “There” makes the picture stretchable.


“What There Looks Like” A Solo Exhibition of Liu Hsin-Ying in Singapore

“A Pond Under the Rainbow” Liu Hsin-Ying©2019 (right side)

Courtesy of the artist and Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery

Roxana Florina Popa: Something happens in each part of your paintings and if we were to remove any component, your artwork would still remain complete. How do you achieve this integrality?

Liu Hsin-Ying: What makes you think that if any component were to be removed from the painting, my work would still remain complete? This opinion is very interesting; I would like to learn more about it.

For the process of my work, each colour and each line are indispensable.

So I am unable to picture how my work would still remain complete if any part of it were taken away.

However, if I sympathize with the perspective of the viewer, the hypothesis that “if we were to remove any component, the artwork would still remain complete” seems to make sense.

I hope seeing my painting is like looking at a mountain or the sea for the viewer.

I always feel that perceiving the nature – as it is – must involve noticing it as a whole first. And so, a mountain would remain a mountain, if a tree were to be chopped off therefrom.


“In the Morning Sun” Liu Hsin-Ying©2019

Courtesy of the artist and Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery

But if we take the matter chronologically, the creation of the work of art has to happen first so that the site of the painting can have its totality. And so, each component constitutes the structure that gives totality to the painting as a place.

Whether this totality would hold together if a component were taken away, purely depends on the free findings of the viewer’s eyes.

ABOUT THE ARTIST LIU HSIN-YING

Liu Hsin-Ying (b. 1991, Taiwan) was trained at the Art Students League in New York in 2013 and at the Department of Fine Art, Taipei National University of the Arts, Taipei, Taiwan, graduating in 2015. She works in a variety of medium and approaches such as painting, drawing, video and performance art, drawing inspiration from the personal and cerebral. She is currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

She was the winner of the 2015 Outstanding Art Prize (Taipei National University) and an artist in residence at the Open and Fun Art Village Residency, Shanghai, China. Solo exhibitions include: Somewhere Down The River (2018), Richard Koh Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; “Please Give Me a Shape in One Piece.” thought spoke (2016), Richard Koh Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and A Period of Time (2013), Soul Art Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan.

ABOUT RICHARD KOH FINE ART GALLERY

Founded in 2005, with spaces in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore, Richard Koh Fine Art is committed to the promotion of Southeast Asian contemporary art on regional and international platforms. Centred around a core belief in developing an artist’s career, the gallery looks to identify understated, albeit promising practices, and providing it opportunities to flourish. Through its regular exhibition cycles, print & digital publications and cross-border gallery collaborations, Richard Koh Fine Art engages the art community with the aim of developing regional and intercultural dialogue.

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