I recently discovered, to my pleasant surprise, that actress Lucy Liu, a Michigan alum, is also a talented fine artist who previously worked under her Chinese name, Yu Ling. Under this alter ego, Liu has sold and auctioned her work for hefty prices up to $70,455. Working with painting, sculpture, collage, ink, and a plethora of other media, Liu’s detailed, intricate work calls upon themes of love, lust, and vulnerability.
Liu has had experience in the art world since her teenage years, and has been featured in both solo and group art shows across the globe for almost three decades. Her work is rich in color and texture, and deeply intimate–thus why she only revealed her true identity in a book a few years ago. Liu explains that “it was incredibly liberating… it gave me a sense of truth in my art and how it was viewed.”
One of Liu’s notable works of art is a collection of books called Lost & Found, which features cutouts filled with discarded found objects. She jokes that people make fun of her for salvaging scraps such as soda tabs or pieces of string for example, but uses these objects as aa invitation for reflection.
Furthermore, Liu also creates intriguing erotic paintings, styled after the shunga Japanese art of the 17th century. Such paintings depict women kissing, engaging in intercourse, or simply connecting as humans. Her paintings, rife with dynamic brushstrokes and vibrant color truly show her versatility as an artist.
(All images from Lucy Liu)