Show Preview | Liu & Liang

Taos, NM
Total Arts Gallery, August 17-September 16

Huihan Liu, Pasture Light, oil, 9 x 12.

Huihan Liu, Pasture Light, oil, 9 x 12.

This story was featured in the August 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

This month at Total Arts Gallery, California artists Huihan Liu and Weizhen Liang team up for a two-
person show of small works. The husband and wife have been represented by the gallery for more than 10 years and are often influenced and informed by one another in their work. The show features about 12 works by each artist and opens on Friday, August 17, with an artists’ reception from 5 to 7 p.m.

Liu brings new works documenting the everyday rhythms of life in Tibet. After first visiting the country in 1987, the artist was captivated by the landscape, the people, and the traditions of the country. “Over time, I have seen many different parts of Tibet,” Liu says. “I feel like I don’t have time to lose in painting the country, as the modern world’s impact on traditional Tibetan culture grows year by year.” With thick paint and energetic brush strokes, the artist turns his creative eye to children in traditional Tibetan dress and women shopping for jewelry in a marketplace. He also depicts scenes of shepherds herding cattle, sunlight falling on the side of Rongbuk Glacier, and temples where the faithful chant and pray. “He feels it’s his duty to document their lifestyle as it is today, because they are always at risk of being absorbed by the Chinese government and the modern world,” says Emily Wilde, assistant director at the gallery.

Liang’s focus falls on the roses that fill the gardens near her home. “One thing I always try to keep in mind is how to best capture the spirit of the roses,” she says. “Although I have been painting them for 20 years, I have been experimenting to come at them from a fresh perspective.” While Liang’s style is similar to Liu’s, her palette and brush strokes convey the deep connection between the artist and her subject matter. “Her education dealt with classical writing in China,” Wilde says. “She looks at the world first through a narrative lens, and then through a visual one. She sees the poetry of the roses and then interprets that into a visual format.”

Wilde says Liu and Liang’s relationship is a dynamic one, informed by their mutual intellectual interests in a wide range of subjects. “They approach life like it’s a group effort, and they hold each other in such high regard,” she says. “They have a deep friendship and relationship that comes through in their work.” Liu says he and Liang are simply painting what they love and doing the best work they can do. “We hope people find the beauty in the work, whatever the subject matter is,” he says. “Whether it’s a connection with the people and feelings in Tibet, or the combination of poetry and flowers, we love each painting and hope others will, too.” —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
575.758.4667
www.totalartsgallery.com

This story was featured in the August 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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