Explore the Hybrid Aesthetics of Siran Liu's Visual Art

Website: siranliu.com

Siran Liu (b. 1989, Beijing, CN) is a visual artist working in the Bronx and upstate New York. His practice spans drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. Siran was originally trained as an electrical engineer in China. He then moved to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree in digital visualization, which propelled him into the entertainment industry, working at leading animation studios such as Laika and Blue Sky. In recent years, Siran has shifted his focus to fine art and completed a post-baccalaureate program in studio art at Brandeis University in 2023. Informed by his bicultural and multidisciplinary background, his works pull and mix divergent influences, including Chinese antiquities, western modern color theory, and digital means in image production. Working in a lineage of landscape painting tradition from China, Siran uses quasi-forms that sit in between landscape and abstraction to contextualize the experience of living through complex cultural sensibilities that deal with the duality/hybridity between east and west, analog and digital, antiquity and novelty.

Artist Statement

My current works engage the visual language of abstraction and quasi-form as a way of exploring the hybrid aesthetics and cultural sensibility informed by my bicultural and multidisciplinary background. I grew up in China and was trained as an electrical engineer before moving to the United States in pursuit of a creative career. This initially led me to become a digital artist in visual effects. My compositions, shapes, and marks are informed by a mixed array of sources. This ranges from eastern traditions and antiquities like ancient Chinese landscape painting, Chinese textile design, and scholar rocks to digital means in image production like layering and procedural pattern generation using mathematical noises. With mediums like soft and oil pastel, I push for an intense and kaleidoscopic color scheme rooted in western modern color theory, which uses the interaction of colors to construct space and relationships that go beyond depicting observation. I’m interested in seeing these heterogeneous sources merge and collapse. In my works, I take the process of synthesizing these sources as a way of embedding meaning into marks, shapes, and colors to push them beyond merely a formal concern. Through a prolonged process of mark making, erasing, and layering, I end up with quasi-landscape imagery that looks fragmented and dissonant. As an immigrant, a queer person, and living through the ever-changing contemporary experience, I often feel a sense of uncertainty and the inability to secure a sense of belonging. This language that sits in the liminal space allows me to go on a quest in defining, losing, and redefining that feels liberal and spiritual without the need of giving or arriving at a closed-end answer that feels too easy and binary.