ARTIST STATEMENT

The seeds of my artistic endeavor trace back to my academic career as a professor in the field of mass communication. Throughout my academic years, I was drawn to the imagery underlying the concepts and theories in my field. Indeed, that is how I conceptualized them – as images. For example, a theory called “Spiral of Silence” – aiming to explain why the fear of isolation causes people to remain silent on issues that they do care about – to me, was an image. However, in attempting to visualize the images, I discovered that I had to learn to paint. That marked the beginning of the latter phase of my life – the artistic phase. Since then, I have systematically explored still life, landscape, and encaustic painting. I strive to combine all of my experience as an academic and an artist to visually display the truth underlying a wide range of concepts and theories aimed at explaining human behavior.

My paintings are often inspired by the physical environment (sea, sky, cloud, landscape), and everyday objects that surround me, fused with my intuition, past memories, and direct observation. However, living in Seattle with its beautiful waters and mountains, there are times that I succumb to impulse, painting what simply impresses me. The demand for pause and close examination required in painting, in turn, enhances my appreciation of the beauty.

At a visceral level I am simply mesmerized by shapes, colors, and texture – be it in nature, or in still life. But there is always an intellectual component to my works as well.

It is easy to forget that art, throughout its history, has involved a mixture of the visceral and the intellectual. What changes through history is the specific balance between them. One may argue that early art sought more of a visceral experience, while contemporary art places a bit more demand on the intellect – Think Mondrian, with his goal of reducing all of reality to vertical and horizontal lines.

Although my works on canvas, on panel, and even encaustic paintings, generally strike a balance between the visceral and the intellectual, my tessellation series can be arguably placed in the more-intellectual category. However, with extreme attention paid to the pairing of my subjects and the tessellated background, that intellectual experience is accompanied by an equally strong and purely visceral experience. Consequently, at the end, my works generally invoke both the intellectual and the visceral.