ASIAN LANDSCAPES: Paintings of the Asian Landscape Gallery are painted in a method based on Classical Chinese style. Chinese painting actually grew out of calligraphy, so it reveres the power and sensitivity of the stroke and the relationship between line and blank space. Although all art developed greatly during the Tang Dynasty, even today calligraphy is honored in all fine art.
In China, because of the stroke, artists are said to write an image, rather than draw or paint one. Landscapes beginnings were in black and white. Different shades from black to gray were used to express all the different colors. Scientifically and spiritually, artists knew that pure white space, like pure white light, contains all the colors of the universe. Mastering the relationship between black and white created a dynamic sense of reality. Eventually color was added, but typically very light and subtle.
Wai-Sin landscapes are often described as many paintings in one. Some giclees have been cut into triptych style or even more pieces and framed separately. The mini-pieces stand-alone beautifully. While the Classical Chinese style has evolved greatly and creatively in Wai-Sins paintings, their power is still due partly to the skill of the stroke in expressing the spirit of the image. Her mastery and love of calligraphy creates a multi-determined intensity, combining line, space and color in a truly ever new and living landscape.a
She further enriches the paintings with her innovative style of deep layering color and skillfully working both sides of the extremely fine and delicate rice paper. Once completed, all paintings are given endurance by backing them with a thicker and stronger rice paper. They are usually framed with fine wood and silk or other fine matting.
The “Contemporary Gallery” contains contemporary paintings, but also paintings that are unique and do not fit naturally into one of the other categories. Some are images that combine themes of more than one gallery in a single painting.
WESTERN LANDSCAPES: Wai-Sin’s Western Landscapes come from her extensive travel and “to see with my eyes and my heart” how nature expresses itself in the Western World in terms of its form, color, energy and spirit. She also studied in Europe and North America the intensity of color often used in Western paintings and its use to convey and evoke a stronger emotional response.
She feels that in both her personal primary relationship life, as well as in her artistic life, “East met West with love, and married, to enhance each other through sharing their difference without losing their identity. Something new and wonderful is born when that happens.”
Her most recent landscapes of western and tropical scenes skillfully integrate more intense Western color with the subtle power of stroke and relationship that are part of her heritage. (See descriptions of Chinese Calligraphy and Asian Landscape Galleries for a greater understanding of the Chinese and Eastern foundation for Wai-Sin’s style as seen in her Western work.)
CHINESE CALLIGRAPHY: The space is as important as the line. Everything is relationship. Chinese calligraphy is an entire philosophy of life and spirit, expressed through an art form. It is the basis of all Chinese art. It is one of the deepest grounding foundations for warriors of martial arts.
The ancient art of Chinese calligraphy has been shaped by centuries of experience and demands for different form and rules imposed by various rulers and emperors through the ages.
Although there is greater diversity, there are 5 primary forms of calligraphy. Each has a different quality of formality, looseness, rigidity, heaviness, lightness, etc. The boundaries of classical Chinese calligraphy, with it’s traditional limitations of formal lines, black ink, white, or at least one color, backgrounds are artistically stretched by Wai-Sin.
As a master and teacher, her study and knowledge of ancient, as well as modern, calligraphy allows Wai-Sin to express the deepest movement and meaning of calligraphic expression. She uses particular styles to express different feelings and moods associated with the word character. She uniquely combines these characters with colorful abstract backgrounds of seascapes and landscapes, further intensifying their impact.
The finest expression of Chinese calligraphy resembles a spiritual dance. The artist first goes inside in a meditative sense and connects with center, with the energy of Tao, with heaven and earth, with the deepest meaning of the word to be expressed. When ready, the bamboo brush meets and lifts the ink. Now the energy and the image move with the breath from a grounded center, through the spine, shoulders, arm and hand, touching the inked brush to paper, allowing release of the image until the energy and ink are spent.
And it is done. Each piece represents the whole cycle of life- image, gestation, birth, expansion and death, then rest and eventual rebirth. That is why the work of a master calligrapher has such a quality of strength, fluidity and life in it. It is never just an inanimate word.
Creatures Paintings: This series contains paintings of creatures in both intense and subtle colors. Wai-Sin has a unique talent in being able to imbue each creature with a quality of aliveness, and expression, that keeps the image fresh, no matter how many times one sees it. She is able to always keep the creature true to its natural state. At the same time she sensitively humanizes its psychology and relationship to other creatures in the painting, and to the viewer.
Several series are included in this gallery, including “Bird Series” and “Kitten Series.” Some original paintings are 6 x 8 inches, making display of a whole series of paintings on one wall very possible. On the other hand, the clear details and vividness of color allow the limited edition giclees to be enlarged into a single painting that is big enough to fill a large wall space. (See description in Calligraphy and Asian Landscapes Galleries for a deeper understanding of WaiSin’s style and work.)
FLORAL-VEGETATION WITH BIRDS: The Floral-Vegetation With Birds Gallery contains vivid paintings with marvelous and intricate detail. It displays Wai-Sin’s mastery of the use of stroke, color, relationship, and living form. The complexity evident in painting some of the details requires tremendous focus and energy sustained through the execution of much of the painting in one sitting. This kind of work can be exhausting for the artist, but extremely gratifying for the viewer.
In this gallery are several series or pairs, including “Lotus Prism,” “Floral and Birds,” and “Vegetation And Birds.” Some of the Floral And Vegetation paintings focus on a beautiful full blossom or aspects of different stages of the life cycle. A number of them also include birds as an important, yet subtle aspect of the subject.
Others focus powerfully and colorfully on the birds themselves, with flowers or vegetation in the background. (See description in Calligraphy and in Asian Landscapes Galleries for a deeper understanding of Wai-Sin’s style and work.)
WOMEN OF TAO: The “Women of Tao” gallery demonstrates some of the superb range of Wai-Sin’s artistic skill and her emotional and spiritual awareness. Many of the paintings are autobiographical.
Some come out of deep empathic awareness of feminine struggle, passion, strength, sensitivity and creativity in a woman’s daily life.
Some are of an historical folk style, yet seem alive and present. Others are clearly modern. All of the paintings demonstrate her skillful use of stroke and magnificent sense of detail, color and relationship.
While the women are the central figure, they are seen in relationship to beautiful landscapes, indoor scenes, and other surroundings that are part of their meaningful context. Included in this gallery are several series, including “The Four Seasons,” “Women of Passion,” Feminine Dream States,” and a sub-series that depicts the quality of the special relationship between women and children called “Bonding Moments.”
As with her landscapes, it is often observed that “there are many paintings within one painting.”