How would you describe your art - in one sentence, or a short phrase.
Black and white psychedelic symbolist surrealism.
Photo of you in your studio; or beside an art piece that you like.
One sentence to describe your studio / the place you work.
My studio is nomadic, wherever I lay my hat is my workspace.
Photos of your 3 best artworks, the title and a short description.
Yunnan Girl (2016)
Coffee & Ink on Paper. 297 x 420 mm
It was inspired by the unique beauty of the girls in Yunnan province, China, of which I lived for 2 years on my travels. I try to incorporate the patterns of each place I’m In when I make my art as well as the indigenous materials.
This was painted in Yunnan coffee, and features some traditional Yunnan geometric patterns of which can be found in Chinese furniture and wood carving. The cloud pattern is also typically found in Daoist Chinese temples in that area.
‘Golden Ratio’ (2016).
Coffee, Gold leaf & Sumi e Ink on rice paper. 45cm x 38 cm
This piece is based on the gender gap I witnessed living in China. It features a Yi minority woman carrying a baby boy on her back in a traditional baby carrier. The mother is looking to east, while her golden baby is looking to the west.
All patterns featured are authentic patterns from Yi & Bai minority textiles and architecture. They often paint these patterns on the exterior of their houses. Painted with: Coffee, Gold leaf & Sumi-e Ink on rice paper.
Part of a series on Chinese minority tribes. I plan on doing a painting for each of the full 55 minority groups that exist in China. This one is entitled ‘Tibetan’.
Most memorable art commission - what was the piece about, who commissioned the art, what was the experience like.
A 4x3 meter mural for the Performing Arts department in Renaissance College, Hong Kong. It consisted of a psychedelic mashup of various drama, dance and music diciplines. It took 5 nights to paint, and I nearly broke my back standing on a ladder that long! View it here
How you work with your clients - a short description of how you develop concepts and ideas, and collaborate with your clients.
Each client is different as I do both large scale murals and fine art works on paper and canvas but usually but most clients ask me to come up with a concept which I give them a sketch of, and the cost.
If it is a mural I usually look at the space first and decide what content would work for that particular wall space and consider the environment it will be displayed in.
I normally work throughout the night as I feel I'm at my most productive when the world is sleeping and there are no distractions.
What/who inspires you?
I’m always looking for inspiration, and travelling is an endless source of that. Each country has its own traditional handicrafts, and indigenous art styles and signature patterns.
I love to record these patterns and art styles as I travel and try to incorporate them into my work.. My favorite thing to do in a new country is just sit on the street and observe how unique people’s faces are, how their features look similar or different to others.
Over the last four years I backpacked through more than 50 countries, but I would say India is the most inspiring.
Browse Luke Gray's artworks on The Commissioned.