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A Portfolio of Mixed Media Artworks by Crystal Liu

A mixed media artwork depicting fog rolling into a valleythe fog, "rolling in", gouache, watercolour, ink, and collage on paper

Crystal Liu is an artist who works in gouache, watercolour, ink, and other traditional media, producing detailed mixed media artworks that draw on both traditional Chinese and contemporary art styles. The artist also works in photography, using a similar aesthetic language applied to a very different medium.

A collaged, abstract painting of a sunI always meant to love you, "lean in", gouache, watercolour, ink, and collage on paper

I love the way that Liu uses the language of traditional painting and puts a contemporary spin on it. Many of these works have a similar tone to traditional Asian paintings, like those of Wa Truong, for example, but Liu’s use of marbled pigments in cut-out and collaged shapes lends a kind of illustrative sharpness that is in contrast to the gestural, melting brush marks often seen in traditional watercolour.


Liu’s photographs are an exercise in delicate beauty -- a recent series showcases flowers, apparently trapped in ice, photographed close-up to emphasize the sense of the uncanny in seeing such a fragile yet beautiful form preserved in an inherently destructive fashion.

A c-print photograph of flowers trapped in icegive us our dream: part two, "delphinium", digital c-print

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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