- Art Critique by Dr. Barbara Aust-Wegemund, Art Historian
Listen to the Birdsong
Hong Liu-Sertti at Miami Art Expo
Dr. Barbara Aust-Wegemund
PHD from Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
A spread of paintings in a meditative medley surrounds the Miami Art Expo with works by Hong Liu-Sertti. Inundated with visual metaphors, her artwork appears in a tactile interplay of spaces and forms using a meditative symphony of brush strokes in elegant compositions. The subtle colours and the play of light endow the works with luminosity.
Hong Liu-Sertti captures the movements in her meditative brush strokes that carry us seamlessly into a mystical realm. A lifelong fascination with painting and calligraphy shapes the work of Hong Liu-Sertti, who is selected from the Jury Committee of Miami Art Expo to present her recent series “Transformation” in Miami. Main subject in the series are sea waves in blue green brush stokes and water drops transforming in birds and stamps.
The artist, who is living in Espoo, Finland, is delighted to be selected for the show in Miami, hosted at Nina Torres Fine Art. The 8,000 square feet gallery space across the street of Margaret Pace Park is located at 1800 North Bayshore Drive, in a high-rise building adorned with fountains and with breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach and the Port of Miami.
So what are the characteristics in Hong Liu-Sertti’s work? ”The key elements of my artworks”, Hong Liu-Sertti explains, ”are birds and calligraphic seals. The seals resonate with the theme of the painting. The simplicity of Finnish art and nature is a great inspiration for my creativity.“ About the process of painting, she continues: “My painting process is a flow of spontaneous creativity. The colors, the brush strokes, the movement and the stillness, the vibration and the silence are all flowing in a natural rhythm. By integrating spontaneous brush strokes with rational arrangement of colourful calligraphic seals, I explore the ways to express conflict and harmony; limitation and freedom.
In this eternal universe, the birds fly their lives and sing their songs of praise for the freedom. Sunny days or stormy days, the birds never stop their love for singing and never stop their love for flying. The motivation behind my painting is to awaken people to reflect on our life and our relation to the universe.”
Hong Liu-Sertti graduated (BFA) at the renowned Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, China (1996-2000), before she participated at Aalto University of Art and Design (2007) and Sibelius Academy Finland (2006). Her work has been featured worldwide (Guangzhou, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oxford, Paris, Izmir, St. Petersburg among others) and is held in private and public collections in Finland.
Hong Liu-Sertti is a member of the Helsinki International Artists Association (HIAA), China Calligraphy and Painting Artist Association, registered Artists International Network (ART RAIN), the European Union Migrant Artists Network (EU-MAN) and Finnish Art Association.
Her work has been awarded by the State Fine Arts Committee of Arts Promotion Center Finland grant for the solo exhibition “Bird, Forest, Lake”(2013) and byThe Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture grant for HIAA group exhibition “Speak to me – Puhu mulle“ (2012).
Created from an inner silence Hong Liu-Sertti’s work is facing the question how to reconcile the traditional literati mindset of retreat into nature with the public appeal for social intervention of reality emphasized in contemporary art in order to complete a universal transformation. Hong Liu-Sertti prefers to seek out valuable ideas and resources for creative transformation within her own rich cultural traditions in contributing philosophical values and views.
In reviewing her complete oeuvre she has reflected a deep impact of sensibility. By going into the painting, behind and underneath the surface, the painting gains a unique kind of physicality seeking out what lies beyond the surface appearances.
Hong Liu-Sertti’s concept is focused on the importance of mind, body, unity and purity. While viewing these paintings, the mind remains in the now, being fully aware of the illusory nature of material life. What is in and behind the waves? How deep is the ocean? Where is real peace in life? Just listen to the birdsong to make peace with yourself.
- Reflection of life and tradition in the transcultural context - Review of Hong Liu-Sertti´s painting by Art Critic Hu Bing
Reflection of life and tradition in the transcultural context
Review of Hong Liu-Sertti´s painting
-Deputy Director of the Art Museum of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (GAFA), Associate Professor of the Art Management Department
With the intensified globalization artists with Chinese and international background have become a prominent phenomena in the art society. Thus we can sort out and follow a long thread. Hong Liu-Sertti is undoubtedly in this context. What I am interested is, from the observation of her, we could survey the characteristics of artists with transcultural background.
Hong Liu-Sertti graduated from the Art Education Department in GAFA where she received a comprehensive art education, which has given her a solid foundation for her art. After moving to Finland she has got new nourishment from the art and humanities as well as the nature of the new country. Her art works in recent years mainly focus on the theme of flower， bird and landscape. Her art language is pithy and fresh, the shades of color bleeding is exquisite– very distinctive oriental artistic charm. But when observed more carefully you will notice that her stroke and color are not the traditional Chinese style of ink painting. The strokes are either lightly brushed, or sharply scratched, not of the calligraphic method. The colors demonstrate an exceptional purity with the dreamlike innocence. Additionally the stamps, the very traditional symbols of Chinese painting and calligraphy, are used in her painting composition. She does not simply follow the so-called traditional Chinese painting practice , but rather creates the oriental expression with an open mind. The different kind of materials like rice paper, canvas, pigment, mica, acrylic, foil etc make the painting colourful and luminous. Still in a general view, the deep-rooted Chinese cultural is strongly imprinted in her work. Her stamps are not of the conventional Chinese style. They are in Chinese, English or Finnish with different shapes and colors and the meaning of the words heighten the theme. These ”stamps” , dotting the painting in picturesque disorder, turn into music melody in her works. Similar to using stamps as part of style and composition, she creates in her work random light-reflecting holes, which increase the mottled dimensional depth and enriches the gradation. She herself summaries the nutrition behind her creation: mutualism of blankness and fullness of Chinese traditional painting technique and the Finnish concise, rational and straight-forward art style increase the richness of the work. The beautiful nature of Finland gives the fertile soil of the flourishment of my art. ” Yes, her creation has been benefited from this transcultural context.
Continue to follow the transcultural thinking, it is not difficult to feel the action in her painting. The pursuit of aesthetical perfection of painting is not her only target. She emphasizes on the rhythm and tempo in the process of creation . It is like the mentally controlled energy(Qi) flow and spontaneous action in the traditional Chinese calligraphy and painting, combined with the improvisation and dynamics of the western art tradition. In her work one can sense movement and stillness, conflict and harmony, freedom and limitation…her creation is like walking with dancing steps. The process demonstrates the path and the final completion.
”Love” and “Freedom” are the eternal themes of Hong Liu-Sertti’s art. There are always birds in her paintings. Some birds are brilliantly colourful and emphasised, some are just simplified like dancing symbols. From her point of view, they represent freedom and harmony with nature. The reflection of “love” can be seen from the held or stretched hands as well as the innocent child. Surely we have no need to find meaning of the symbols in such simple manner. The spirit of positivity, warmth and softness, lightness and freedom fills her work. This is a motif of universal value. Historically there are numerous excellent works under this theme, being noble, or romantic, or inspiring，or profound. As a female artist migrating between east and west, she expresses the motif with individual viewpoint from her heart, which resonates with every viewer.
Through the phenomena of Hong Liu-Sertti we realize that artists who are in the transcultural context between China and the West, are more open in breaking the bonds of old convention and in applying innovative techniques. At the same time they are more consciously returning to the traditional form and spirit. They often choose the motif of universal value, but the path of expression is inseparable from the eastern background. This seemingly contradictory phenomena appears however in many overseas Chinese artists. Their way of cultural expression renders us another viewpoint towards the Chinese tradition, and their way of creation can not be neglected when we are looking at the world of contemporary art.
- 刘译鸿的“畅鸣鸟”及其艺术方式 - 陈国辉/文
- Art critique from Heinz Playner，curator of MAMAG Modern Art Museum , Austria
A charming, multi-facedted style of Hong Liu-Sertti has strong bond between the artist and her roots from Asia. She can perfectly combine modern and classical Chinese style. You can feel in the artworks poetry, the music and a warm blowing wind, which invites the viewer into the elegant world of Hong Liu-Sertti.