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Interview by filmmaker, Keith Behrman

October 10, 2023

What has been your journey in becoming a painter?

I have always been interested in art and while living in Shanghai 15 years ago, I had wanted to open an art gallery. For various reasons that didn’t happen, but then I thought, why not start painting myself? I followed several teachers and attended classes at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. I studied watercolors at the beginning, painting mostly landscapes because I love to travel and wanted to capture the places I have been to.

I particularly enjoy some of your landscapes. Those open rural spaces or small towns
where lines and shape
s of roads and simple buildings are visually intriguing while at
the same time, conveying a strong sense of tranquility. Going back to when you
began, do you think you would have started painting if you did go ahead with
opening a gallery?

Perhaps not. I probably would have been intimidated by the talents that come through the door daily. (Victor laughs.)

It was later in your life when you began painting. Did you ever worry that you had
waited too long to start?

I did wonder and so I asked my first artist teacher about that. He told me not to worry, that all my life experiences would help me in capturing ideas.

What was your next big step in pursuing painting?

When I moved to Vancouver, a painter got me interested in portraits, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I still love painting people.

What do you think makes a good portrait?

In general, it has to draw my attention to it. It could be the unique features of the face or an expression. You should feel the person has something interesting that they could tell you. Whether they would or not, is another matter.


How has living on the Sunshine Coast influenced your painting?

When I moved to the Sunshine Coast eight years ago, with the long stretch of shoreline, plus my love of sailing, my interest turned to painting marine scenes and seascapes, and the space allowed me to migrate to the medium of oils.

Do you have a favorite piece of your own artwork?

One that comes to mind right now is a scene at Refuge Cove, Desolation Sound in BC Discovery Islands. An elderly gentleman recognized the place when he saw the painting at the Coastal Gallery in Gibsons. He told me that his grandson lives there but he had not seen him for a long time. Next time I went sailing there, I sought out this grandson and passed on the message and they have since communicated over the phone. I think that was quite meaningful. One painting that I treasure is a portrait of my mother. I had painted it from my memories of her, with reference from several old photos.

Who are some painters that have inspired you?

Of course, the masters. Rembrandt for one. Impressi
onists like Monet, Degas and Gauguin. Andrew Wyeth, the American realist painter. I like particularly Wu Guanzhong, who is widely recognized as a founder of modern Chinese painting and considered one of the greatest contemporary Chinese painters. You can see both Western and Eastern influences in his works. 

What is it you want to convey in your paintings? I mean, what drives you to paint
what you paint?

My purpose is to express truth, kindness and beauty, be it in people or in nature. I hope viewers could see or feel these emotions in my paintings.

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