Fine art paintings

Hsiao-Mei, Lin

Creator's heaven, atmosphere, earth and underwater world.

Small painting

Land of hidden treasure
oil on gesso board 40x 40 cm

A small painting can be as precious as diamonds, as powerful as a big size painting. It is a matter of getting it "right ", the perfect final touch no more no less. The small picture itself has its own right to be, it's own qualities and value. The more clarity and pure the gemstone, the more valuable it is.
A small painting can have the same effect if the painting itself speaks with power and more perfectly put together. The value can still outshine the larger work which does not have the same impact. Reflecting pure light and the clarity of its surroundings, touches hearts and souls.

Hsiao- Mei LIn

Artist own words...
The Season of golden era begins...

oil on canvas 80 x120 cm

Life itself is an art. I describe my life journey over the last 12 years as being " colourful ", enduring much difficulty and experiencing joy , a time dramatic to the extent of being supernatural, in the mist of the ups and downs, yet trying to find the beauty within it all, connecting all colours and all forms always with what I see and feel around me in Faith in the Word of Holy God.This time reminds me of the life of Vincent van Gogh- out of hardship ultimately producing stunning art, his sister-in-law never giving up her belief in his paintings after he died. She kept promoting his work finally finding recognition in the art world. Looking at the inner world of van Gogh expressed by strong colour and texture which he transformed into a remarkable story and extraordinary paintings. I also love the peace and tranquility of Milton Avery, he too using the power of colours in every brush stroke, but I admire more now the daringness of Van Gogh true to himself.I love to draw attention to details of even the smallest objects while bringing in the atmosphere of heaven, earth and underwater worlds, my world and my state of mind melted into the surface. In the early days of my art school training in Taiwan as a portrait painter, learning the skill to copy a photograph as easily as eating ice cream, it stopped my imaginary creative side, and did not give me deep satisfaction. So I came to the UK to have my eyes opened to many more ways to express the creativities inside of me. By the third year of uni a sudden revelation showed I needed to challenge the simplicity of form of the current conceptual art, and draw more attention to lines and colour in order to create a space and a story, and I became more familiar with the elements of my painting beginning to make a language of my own.As I joined 3 years of postgraduate in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Piccadilly, there I tasted the beauty in making of mural art, loving the texture of gesso, pigment, and tempura, at the same time finding affinity with Turners fascination with earth and atmosphere. The marriage of these gave birth to my love of the inner landscape, where colours, block, and line, combined with the texture of earth material and the movement of water, enhancing the objects and creatures within it, their details and vibrancy magnified by the water, and everything started to look exciting to me.Now in this new season of my life and my art, my goal is to keep finding simple joy in order to appreciate every colour, mark, brush or free form like water's movement, so to discover a new passionate conversation with art and life daring to to be fully myself.To turn ash into beauty, my God the creator in his Holy Word reminded me that my life is in his hand and it is going to be as glorious and beautiful as he intended. My art as I pray will always reflect this kind of beauty, full of passion and peace and hope for the spectator to experience.Isaiah 61:2. To appoint to mourners in Zion, To give to them beauty instead of ashes, The oil of joy instead of mourning, A covering of praise for a spirit of weakness...

oil on canvas 180x 240 cm

big painting

I am also fascinated by the atmosphere that the large surface of colour field gives out. Not only how different colour fields can effect different kind of emotion but also the actual physical movement to spreading the paint itself is like change of the emotions, all completely immersed in the weightless water like in the outer space...


Originally from Taiwan, Hsiao-Mei has been based in the UK since 1991 when she began her studies at the University of Brighton. She was an outstanding MA graduate from the Royal Academy Schools of fine arts in 1997, winning numerous awards, including the Museum of Taipei Taiwan, the Windsor & Newton Young Artist Award, the Crabtree & Evelyn Scholarship and the Cyril Sweett Award of worshipful company of painter-stainers for most promising MA Painter from the Royal Academy, the Slade and the Royal College of Art.
Her work can now be found in many public and private collections, including Chevron UK, Lucas Pensions Investment Ltd, Art Review Magazine and the Fenton Art Trust. She has exhibited widely in the UK – London, Bath, Henley, Oxford and Glasgow, as well as at art fairs in Palm beach USA , Geneva and Belgium, Italy

Oil paintings

Hsiao-Mei often finds that changes are dictated by the materials, by her dialogue with the paint. Her approach is very physical and visceral. She likes to play around and invent colours, to feel the pigment with her fingers - she talks of its taste, its strength. She says, ‘it’s almost like eating a cake’. She’s very aware of the intensity of it: the emotional reading as much as the transparency or opacity of hue.She paints by preference on board, but in the last few years has begun working on canvas, particularly when thinking on a large scale. She still likes the gesso ground she used early in her career - ‘I love the textures,’ she says - and paints on it in the small square panels which form the heart of her practice. In these, Hsiao-Mei is free to let her imagination run riot, and the results are richly inventive and packed with incident. The gesso ground enables her to sand back and repaint any passage she is unhappy with, without qualifying the integrity of the image. (She likes to keep some of what she calls ‘the history’ of the image even when it does change. Thus, earlier ideas will form part of the final painting rather than being entirely erased.) The square format liberates her from the implied narrative of a larger horizontal shape - which always recalls the organisation of Chinese scrolls - and makes composition less of an issue. Without these various constraints, Hsiao-Mei can paint directly and emphatically, traversing the mountains of the mind with her brush of dreaming and adventure.

Lanscape oil on gesso 40x40cm

The act of painting is paramount. She speaks of having to think herself into a movement, like a gymnast, in order to get it right. She evidently spends considerable time concentrating on what she will do before doing it. The Chinese strategy of preparing to making a gesture, through a long series of warm-up activities of hand and mind, then finally executing it very quickly and unwaveringly, is only part of her approach. The contrary notion, of collaborating with her materials and letting them dictate the development of an image, is equally important to her. She begins by imagining the whole direction of a picture before one stroke is painted, but that initial image changes greatly in the process of its making. In fact, the end result may owe as little as 30 per cent to forethought and 70 per cent to the paint developing the image. Thus, very different approaches to the making of art - the tradition of Chinese landscape painting and the gestural furnace of Abstract Expressionism - are joined and uniquely channeled through the person of Hsiao-Mei.Text by Andrew Lambirth

oil on gesso board 30x 30 cm

oil on gesso board with gold frame 40x 40 cm


...a mysterious assembly of strange beauty, unfamiliar bodies emerging, then escaping from shapes in turmoil… the very stuff of life, not always fully formed but always more hopeful and enticing than the frenzied combination of rock and cloud they have left behind marvelous pictures.
Tim Rice
March 2008

oil on box frame

Hsiao-Mei trained first in her native Taiwan, pursuing a general education in art at Fu-Shin School of Arts & Trades in Taipei, the best-known and most prestigious art school in the country. The first two years offered a wide grounding in the visual arts: not only was she taught traditional Chinese art as well as Western modes, but also graphics, pottery, sculpture and design, before being allowed to specialise in the third year.Another point of reference for Hsiao-Mei’s work is The Bible, and in particular ‘The Revelation to John‘. The Bible is not a book you expect to find in the studio of many young artists, but Hsiao-Mei reads it and finds much to interest her therein. The imagery in the Book of Revelations has long excited artists, not least the fabulous beasts with many eyes, and if these are not to be immediately discerned in Hsiao-Mei’s paintings, the richly coloured settings of jasper and cornelian, a rainbow that looks like an emerald and a sea of glass like crystal, do have parallels in her pictures.These paintings are like journeys into the deep space of fantasy, or fording rivers of gems. Hsiao-Mei speaks of the mathematics of painting, of aiming for perfection, but also knowing that all beauty is flawed, not perfect. For her, getting the equation right might be akin to making a leap of faith. She is fascinated by the afterlife and speculates about what it’s like to float on a pink space, lie under a soft cushion of cloud, or whistle up a forest. As she insists: ‘Painting’s about having fun too.’ Her enjoyment of materials and imagery is everywhere apparent. Like a gardener, she likes getting her hands dirty, working with her fingers delicately to smudge marks, or more robustly to join different pours of paint. She does use a variety of brushes, but her approach is determinedly hands-on.Before having children in 2010 when she devoted herself to bringing her boy and girl up, she loved to travel and going diving a lot, in places such as Borneo and Sarawak. The underwater kingdom revealed by snorkeling evidently stimulates the imagery of her work, though her observations of the natural world are of less active importance to her painting than the power of the subconscious. Her reliance on the direction of the imagination owes much to the ‘automatic’ processes of the Surrealists, but she is closer in spirit to a maverick like Tanguy (a great painter of magical landscapes) than that arch stylist Dalí. Among the artists she admires are Milton Avery and Jack B Yeats, Soutine and Marlene Dumas. She is unburdened by preconceptions and can enjoy the startling originality of Lowry’s landscapes without being fazed by his (to many) troublesome reputation for painting matchstick men or being unsophisticatedly demotic. That freshness of thought is evident throughout her work. These new paintings offer many pleasures: aesthetic, emotional, formal. In them we can almost see the celestial music of the spheres.Text by Andrew Lambirth

oil on canvas 180x 240 cm

Works on paper

Standing on the mountain top
ink and water colour on paper

My best friend Jimmy
pencil on paper

ink water colour on paper

Exhibitions & Awards

Born 1971, Taichung Taiwan.
Live and work in London
AWARDS1997 The Worshipful Company of Painters & Stainers.
1997 Cyril Sweett Award, Best MA Painter.
1997 Fenton Art Trust best MA painting award.
1997 Haite Scholarship, Travelling Award.
1997 Tony Smith Prize.
1994-97 Crabtree & Evelyn Scholarship, Royal Academy.
1996 Chevron UK Commission.
1996 Royal Bath & West of England Show Prize.
1996 David Murray Travel Award, Royal Academy.
1995 Winsor & Newton Young Artist Award.
1990 Taipei City Museum of Fine Art Award, Taiwan.
1987 National Exhibition of Chinese Paintings, Taiwan.
EDUCATION1994-97 M.A. Royal Academy School of fine arts, London1991-94 B.A. Hons Fine Art, University of Brighton1987-90 The Fu-Hsin Trade and Arts School, Taipei, TaiwanSelected Solo and Group shows
1999-2020 group shows Adam Gallery London & Bath
2010 ‘Wonderland’ Adam Gallery, London & Bath
2006 ‘Summer Dreams’ Adam Gallery, London & Bath
2004 ‘Thinking Landscape’ Adam Gallery, London & Bath
2002 Adam Gallery, London & Bath
2002 Bohun Gallery, Henley, Oxfordshire
2000 Adam Gallery, London & Bath
1999 Adam Gallery, London & Bath
1999 University of Oxford, St Anne’s College
1999-00 Olympia Fine Art & Antique Fair, London
1998-99 Crane Kalman, London
1998 Fenton art trust hammersmith
1998 ‘Europ’Art’, Palexpo, Geneva
1998 Bohun Gallery, Henley, Oxfordshire
1997-08 London Art Fair,Islington
1997-07 20th Century British Art Fair, London 1997 New Grafton Gallery, London
1997 NEAC Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London 1997 Blue Gallery, London
1997 Hunting Art Prizes, Royal College of Art, London
1996-97 Bruton St. Gallery, London
1996 Christopher Hull Gallery, London
1995-2002 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
1996 Royal Bath & West of England Show, Somerset
1996 Alasdair Gilchrist Fisher Exhibition, Cadogan Contemporary 1996 Bruton Street Gallery, London
1995-96 ROI Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London
1990-94 Cheltenham Drawing Competition
1990-94 University of Brighton
1990-94 Taipei City Museum of Fine Art, Taiwan


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"a painter of reverie and dream, who celebrates the natural world through images of cosmic flux."

Andrew Lambirth

oil on gesso 30 x30 cm

© 1992, Hsiaomei Lin, All Rights Reserved


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