21 Under 31: Young Artists to Watch in 2018: Kai Lun Qu


Kai Lun Qu, Othneil, oil, 14 x 11.

Kai Lun Qu, Othneil, oil, 14 x 11.

Art Education: I studied drawing fundamentals at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts and Central Academy of Fine Arts in China during my freshman and sophomore year of high school. I recently earned a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art. I have also taken workshops with Daniel Keys, Michelle Dunaway, Tim Rees, and Steven Assael.

Style: Representational realism.

Creative Spark: I had no idea I was going to be an oil painter four years ago. During the end of my freshman year of college, I stumbled across John Singer Sargent’s painting THE SPANISH DANCER at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. From that moment onward Sargent became the main inspiration for my first paintings. Over time, I’ve become drawn to other 19th-century painters like Zorn, Sorolla, and Fechin. Nowadays, whenever I need a jolt of inspiration, I take a walk to the nearest art museum and find these painters’ work.

Second-Choice Career: Most likely a hip-hop dancer. I actually have been dancing far longer than I’ve been painting. I started dancing in middle school, and I’ve kept at it as a hobby.

Other Passions: Dance, travel, and music.

Biggest Fear: Not living up to my fullest potential.

Mantra or Motto: Break everything down into abstract values and colors.

Favorite Studio Music: Disney piano instrumentals.

Favorite Work by Another Artist: PORTRAIT OF CAROLUS-DURAN by John Singer Sargent.

Future Goals: Continue to paint, sell, and teach for a living, and perhaps open my own studio school to contribute my educational and professional experiences as a painter to others.

Price Range: $600 to $8,000.

Representation: www.kailunqu.com.

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

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