Hua Nian Art Studio


















Hua Nian
Little Red
watercolor and pastel



When I was pregnant with my son Lincoln, I began to notice many changes gradually happening in my paintings. Lines, which used to rush through the picture panel, were decelerating, starting to form recognizable shapes; dots, which used to surge from nowhere, were beginning to find their habitat; colors were growing more luminous, giving my paintings a mysterious yet vital look. These changes invited me to reexamine my own inner world.

I have always been thrilled by archaeological excavations. But something disturbing overshadowed my fascination, especially when ancient artifacts were found. To me, these silent things were remote as a legend yet close as a minute ago. I was troubled by the thought that what matters so much to me right now is going to be left behind without a trace. Sometimes I even felt like I was living in my own memory. Facing those remains, I could not help imagining how it feels if a soul can sense but is mute.... Burdened with fear, anxiety, sorrow and curiosity, I indulged these feelings among the ruins like a ghost.

Then like a curse being broken the moment of my child's birth, along with the flow of my tears, brought back my soul to the earth. I was overwhelmed by the miracle. Spiritually, from being an onlooker of life, I suddenly became a participant–the river of life just running through my body, carrying part of me down to someday, somewhere I would no longer exist. The amazing physical experience created an intimacy between me and reality. Now I feel like a drifting bottle caught by a branch in a flood–although we are constantly on the move, the moment of tranquillity created between the two, floating together, is enough for me to be grateful.

Exhilarated by the shift in my point of view, I observe this newborn life with great curiosity. I diligently record his delicate growth, trying to cherish every piece of the experience neglected by the passenger I resembled before. Meanwhile, a playful little girl, who has been long lost in my past, joyfully comes back to my life. My child is a rainbow, stringing together the beads scattered away, placing them like a necklace upon my heart.

Being a mother is, of course, a lot more than being a playful little girl. But many times late at night when I drag my tired body down to the studio, to my surprise, the sudden quiet and freedom arouse in me a sense of loneliness.... Facing the canvas, a little girl can’t help sneaking into my little baby's dreams, disguising herself under those magic animals. Roaming in the wonderland of a child's dream, she is waiting for a little boy to pass by...

-Hua Nian





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