AAWAA ARTIST PROFILE
Hwei-Li Tsao holds a MFA degree in painting/drawing from San Francisco Art Institute. Her studio is currently located in San Anselmo, CA.
My work emerges from duality in my own cultural identity: traditional/contemporary; East/West; artisan/technologist; creator/consumer.
Combining handmade objects and technology, I construct transparent polyvinyl clothing sculptures as inspiration and reference for my paintings. Polyvinyl to me is iconic and universal. Its smell evokes my childhood memory of a water bottle that I carried daily to school. The material fascinates and challenges me as a painter because of its qualities of transparency, reflection, shadow and flexibility.
I used water miscible paints and acrylic medium in addition to oil, played with the property of surface tension with water and paint, varied the marking with brush and pen, and created layers of translucency with synthetic media on synthetic paper. Some of the techniques were similar to traditional Chinese brush and ink paintings. However, I found a way to successfully combine the old methods with new materials and processes. As a painter, I am intrigued by the transformation between the objects and the painted images.