Carla Massoni Gallery
Artists Exhibitions Information Corporate
Leigh Wen Selected Works - Website
What in water did Bloom, waterlover, drawer of water, watercarrier returning to the range, admire?...Its universality... its unplumbed profundity.... the restlessness of its waves and surface particles....

-James Joyce

My paintings express my personal and cultural histories. Having grown up on the island of Taiwan, I have a deep affinity for the elemental power of water and the forces of nature. As a Chinese now living in America, I feel the ebb and flow of competing cultures. The ancient philosophies of my homeland, which teach self-discipline and selflessness, collide and mingle with Western notions of ego, alienation, and desire.

My working method is a process of subtraction from darkness to light. I carved into the paint with a stylus to bring forth the individual lines that are the central motif of my work. These lines flow across the canvas in rhythms and frequencies that create depths and swells on the painted surface. Something of the self is lost in the resulting tangle, and then regained, only to be lost again. Simplicity and harmony exist within the chaos of the world.

Color is used to expand the work's emotional range; my palette is drawn not from appearances but from the lyric and psychic necessities of my art. The uniformity of line, from edge to edge and painting to painting, implies a suppression of the artist's hand in favor of an objectivity learned from nature. In spite of this, the work remains deeply autobiographical.

I work in several different media, including printmaking, ceramics and engraving. Though my paintings are completed entirely with oil on canvas, they retain elements of these other mediums, in particular the scored and scratched textures of the intaglio plate and the engraved surface. In a sense, these borrowings also express the tension and richness of simultaneously inhabiting two different worlds, where both, as Joyce wrote in Ulysses carve their "persevering penetrativeness" into my psyche.

Night Water #11
Oil on Canvas

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