Watercolor on paper
18 x 24
Winsor & Newton + Arches hot press
The purpose of portrait paintings is to leave records of people’s appearances. People’s facial features are ever-changing because of their age and mood. That’s why capturing a moment in one’s life is meaningful. Artificial Fairies is an ongoing series of portraits I create for dolls in my collection.
Starting in 2011, I taught myself photography and fashion styling to share photos of my dolls with other doll collectors. Over the years, I have discovered a more and more vivid personal style. My work is a reflection of how much I adore the unique beauty of these dolls and the history behind doll aesthetics in various cultures. Therefore, my photography approach is a mixture of still life and portraits. I kept exploring that invisible but concrete line between doll photography and portraits of real people. At the age of 21, I published my first doll photography book titled Picture Scroll of the Maidens.
In 2015, after noticing that multiple followers had commented about how my photography work always had a dynamic but balanced composition and impactful yet harmonious color palette, which reminded them of classical oil paintings, I started to realize the endless aesthetic potential of these images. It became my opportunity to let this creativity reach the field of fine art paintings.
The adorable appearances and perfect smiles of dolls never change. They seem to be the ideal form of human beings, but artists and writers always emphasize the absence of their souls, which is the only flaw and weakness of their existence.
I aim to turn these externally lifeless models into internally living objects. I focus on capturing their subtle expressions as if they could talk with their gem-like eyes.
I also highlight the fact that they are only the imitation of human beings by making their joints noticeable. My goal is to stimulate my audiences’ imagination, creating a narrative that questions: what if dolls are actually living souls encaged by a silent, immobile shell? I paint dolls surrounded by real flowers, which have flaws but are still full of vitality. The contrast between dolls and plants creates this poetic space that makes people reconsider where the borderline between life and lifelessness is.