Other than the forms of our respective written languages that set the line-rendered Chinese painting and the plane-composed Western oil painting apart, the completely different complexions force our paintings to serve the diversity dictated by Nature.
In the subway a boy with really fine Caucasian features caught my attention and my training as a painter made me react to it immediately by analysing the blonde hair and blue eyes that call for a corresponding palette. The tender curls converge and part according to the logic of gravity. The lines that extend from my hand submit to observation, summoning a rhythm of bodily movement that echoes the traces of lines. Behind the golden curtain inlays a pair of blue diamonds. The colors of the earth and sky prescribe men’s relationship with the world while sunlight becomes a streak of highlight sitting in between the boy’s eyelids. It’s like the Chinese story of bringing the painted dragon to life by putting in the pupils of the eyes, the object of depiction comes to life when the eyes are given a dab of ivory white preferably with a cool tint. The supple lips need no vermillion but a change of brush that can better serve the curvy seam. My gaze was then clutched by the quicksand-like dimples and the fair skin that bears the texture and opacity of milk. All of these make oil painting what it is.
Behind the glass is a reflection of my East Asian features: my elongated eyes and monolids require a switch to a Chinese brush for calligraphy while my dark hair and pale skin are content with a monochromatic palette. A few strokes within a few steady breaths will suffice to bring me into existence.