Cherie Artist Statement

Gongbi (meticulous) painting is a way of communication for me. Transferring the imaginations in my head onto paper and silk with lines drawn with brushes and blending layers of colour, it is the process of contemplating my life and telling my story.

 

I have often thought about life, time, karma and the rhythm of the universe in recent years. Plenty of research is made before I start working on each painting. I go through articles, photographs and videos in detail, which help me visualising my thoughts and emotions through the time.

 

“Everything Flows” is a trio of paintings which break away from the pattern of time, where the pictorial narrative is continuous and broken at the same time. The flying sea birds, tree branches and waves form the symbol of infinity (∞), which represents the infinite and boundless relationship between life and time. “Everything you need will come to you at the perfect time” depicts how the little hedgehog floating in the air falls into the cup that is just the right size for it – it carries an expression of contentment despite the differences in the situation it resides in. “The Story Begins” captures the moment a squirrel encounters a dog. Every living soul is connected by an invisible thread, hence every individual has a special connection with one another. We all wish for the flowers to bloom and trees to bear fruits, and a perfect ending. The “Earthly Encounters” series take inspiration from the Six Gunas in The Heart Sutra – form, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought. Through the Buddhist notion of sunyata (emptiness), the believe in goodness and the bearing of open-mindedness towards the world enables me to let my imagination roam free.

 

Working with the gongbi technique, I wish to break free from the two-dimensional narrative, cutting the image into fragments and re-piece them together in an individual yet continuous manner. As seen in “Just for the Moment”, “Hare of Inaba in the Wonderland”, “Everything Flows” and “Everything you need will come to you at a perfect time”.

 

I particularly favour working on silk to reproduce what I have in mind. White silk absorbs ink and other water based colours well, and the finished woks contain a reserved and soft power, which differs from the bursting energy and passionate emotions on the outer side. A silk surface is blended with numerous layers before each object is outlined and coloured repetitively. During this slow, delicate and intricate process, everything calms down and the works are just like a quiet whisper.