My Story

At the core of my art, there exists an intimacy enriched by ancient Chinese philosophy. It informs my practice, overlapping the thought process and rendering of my paintings. It expresses life as a cycle made up of two extremes that coexist in nature.

Born in Beijing, China in 1952, my interest in art sparked while watching my father practice calligraphy. However, the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s delayed my artistic development.

Sent away from my family to the Heilongjiang Province in North-Eastern China I worked in extreme conditions. For the next eight years, I developed a strong will and determination for life. My experience in the forests and bitter cold reflect in my art.

After my return, I studied under the acclaimed Chinese artist, Li Keran. While my early art style rendered traditional Chinese paintings, I tested new techniques experimenting with Western influences.

From 1987 to 1996, I participated in solo and group exhibitions in Germany, Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and the United States. My Chinese landscapes also won many awards including the "96 International Fine Arts Competition", in South Korea. Later that year my solo exhibition in Houston, Texas, initiated my relocation to the US.

My life and art entered a new era. I experimented with new technique and style, combining the philosophies of Impressionism with traditional Chinese painting methods. I focus less on form and more on feeling as I work.

After 30 years of experimenting, I launched a new style of painting in 2013. Recent solo exhibitions at Q Street Fine Art in Washington, DC, and Evanston Art Center, Evanston, Illinois, in 2017 demonstrate meticulous brushwork layered with a mystical synergy.

Nature inspires my paintings. I use my art to record a dualistic story. It journals my thoughts on the subject, and how it relates to my life. Ancient Chinese art philosophies underpin the thought process and execution of my art. I reflect on the subject of my painting to find its ch’i [氣], the breath of energy that flows through it. I seek to transfer its spirit into my art. I want to give it a new life as I paint, while also balancing it with my subjective self, the feelings that arise as I think about my experiences and nature.

My abstract art blends acrylic Chinese painting colors with spilled ink on paper. I observe the form it takes. Using Chinese calligraphy brushes, I exaggerate the shapes, colors and free-flowing lines of the spilled ink and paint. I often use a dry brush and allow the art to partially dry before adding another layer and repeating the process.

Influenced by the goals and aesthetics of Impressionism, detailed brushwork augments the balance of light and shade. I also employ white space and fragmentation to deepen the mystery and encourage the imagination.

Shulin Sun

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