Shih Ping Lien is a Taiwanese artist that describes are work as “Not cold, just not imagining warmth. Very feminine, but still a bit gloomy. Very colourful, but still a little bit of darkness.”
Shih Ping Lien
We asked Shih Ping a few questions about her work...
Your style of painting is quite diverse, can you tell us a little about your different styles and how these changes come about?
At the beginning, I used a lot of black lines to express my messy, struggling inner state. Later, I gradually found out that I was quite good at using colour, but I liked my colours to be soft. I tried to express things I want to achieve and portray, mostly heavy, serious issues, but
painting them with beautiful colours. On the other hand, as I grow up, I find that many things combine. What seems to be bad can be good.
Your father is a photographer, what is it like growing up in a creative environment?
Since my childhood, my family has always prepared many beautiful picture books for me to look at, they often took me to watch stage plays, concerts and to art gallery exhibitions. My father never taught me how to create, but I curiously watched him and always interested in his ordinary life. I think his habits have deeply affected and influenced me with my art work.
Your portrait paintings have a photographic element to them, do you think this is linked to your father influencing you? Can you see any similarities between both of your art works?
When I am creating paintings, I do think about pictures in a way similar to photography. My father often told me that light and shadow are important sources of beauty in photography and sketching, this is something I always consider when I think about painting.
Your paintings on wood are very interesting. What is it about using wood as a medium for your art that you like? How does your process differ when painting on paper or canvas?
The reason I like to paint on wood comes from my childhood memories of wood. In fact, my father used to be an architect. When I was a child, he designed the house to be all made from wood and he made all the furniture. I am often left at home alone, when I feel lonely or confused, I draw on the wooden floor, it’s a source of my creation.
I like to paint on wood with a black oil pen. I use the natural patterns in the pieces of wood as a guideline where to draw, allowing the lines to represent the influence and change that the external environment has on our hearts. I think the natural texture of wood is unique, just like every one of us was born, so I use wood grain to represent "myself".
We love your painting inspired by Hong Kong protestors, can you describe how it feels creating art that is political and historical, how do your emotions combine with this kind of work?
I think that the various events about politics and history are the result of many balances. There is not a single right or wrong answer, so sometimes I choose to turn my feelings about current affairs into creative inspiration, but the pieces I create do not represent comments and criticisms. In many cases, they actually show my confusion. Instead what I want to do is to honestly present the feelings that these events bring to me.