Self-Portrait

     My childhood graffiti was the beginning of my self-portraits. When staring into the mirror when I was just seven years old, I began to comprehend the subtle relationships between the different features of my face. Experiences such as this gave me lasting impressions. Most of my self-portraits I drew spontaneously. Sometimes I sketched them during the intervals between my lessons at middle school. Other times, upon waking up in the middle of the night, I began my sketching. I completed my first full body self-portrait in the Chinese classical style when I was 18 years old.

     "Why do you paint so many self-portraits?" Many people asked.

I have always been fond of observing people, whether it is their expressions or the emotion which shows through their eyes and mouth. All such observations influence my heart and offer me some kind of strength. Conveying emotions through self-portraits helps me gain a deeper understanding of myself and my own emotions.

     When I sit in front of the mirror, I immediately want to paint a self-portrait. I always notice the changes within myself and everything around me, as well as the passage of time. I cannot hold time still; I can only watch it flow before me. From looking in the mirror I feel an impulse which continues to grow, focus, and change, persuading me to paint a self-portrait. Together my self-portraits and I feel both happy and sad. I finish my self-portraits with an honest reverence for life.

     I painted more than ten self-portraits during the summer of 2005; the thinking process was similar to the records of a diary. Sitting in front of the mirror, I always felt that I was not the same person as the day before. Is that the color of my clothes? Were those my dreams? Were those my friends that I chatted to last night? I tried to record my feelings through my paintings and think through the reasons for my feelings. As time progressed, painting self-portraits became more and more interesting and pleasant.

 

* Frames of mind:

     Feeling the changes in myself... Slowly I realized that life passes permanently. I do not try to anticipate the future, but instead live for the present moment. I cannot control my emotion through reason. There is nothing about me that is happy or unhappy. My thoughts exist in my own reflection. No words… enjoy the moment. Forever important is a positive mood and calmness. Enjoy happiness, flower or not, dream or not, truth or not...

     Why do human beings feel loneliness? Is the loneliness induced from something missing? Or is what is missing merely enhancing the pre-existent loneliness?

     Humans always pity themselves, comparing their gains and losses. Enjoy others appreciation of you or enjoy oneself. People need not constrain themselves.

     Language is sometimes a barrier between people, especially to those who think themselves as intelligent. I always felt that a smile or a hug was enough to melt the ice which has formed within an interpersonal relationship.

The cat language: I have a feeling that the one who adopted my life is a cat…

     I cannot satisfy all the people and cannot be satisfied with all the people no matter how hard I work! I understand it as: when you satisfy someone, no matter your actions, you cannot erase what is unsatisfactory in their life… Can this thinking help me perfect myself or any interpersonal relationship?

     I always suffer from insomnia. Last night it was raining and I awoke to the sound of the droplets pounding against my window.  When I turned my bedside light on, ideas surged through my mind. I sat up to record my thoughts. The next day I erased everything I wrote during the night. Does this insomnia benefit me?

     The dream is not the dream from yesterday, the dream is the dream of today. Wishing to be drunk to enjoy a deep sleep without a dream, but the pedals of the flower continue to flutter into my dreams.

My discussions with others have always been like a mirror.

     Creation is a process which involves constant death and rebirth. My self-portraits are often destroyed up to nine times before I am satisfied with them. Even after I finish a work, as time passes I frequently feel increasingly dissatisfied and must try once again. There is only one perfect version.

 

My self-portraits are a New Year's gift I give to myself:

2005 <DIARY PORTRAIT> series, <GOLDFISH>

2006 <IN THE MIRROR> <MY GIRL>

2007 <THOSE DAYS> <GAZING>

2008 <FACE IN FLOWER> <THIS WINTER>

2011 <MISSING> <FAIRY> <LONG FOR> <EACH OTHER> <WINDFLOWER> <MOMENT> <WITH TAILANG>

2012 <ENCHANTED LOTUS> <ALWAYS NOTHING>