Chinese Artists

The Artist Whose Compelling Works Explore The Hand – Lyn Liu

A mudra is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. When we place our hands in yoga mudras, we stimulate different areas of the brain and create a specific energy circuit in the body. While some mudras involve the entire body, most are performed with the hands and fingers.

“The name Mudra comes from Sanskrit,” artist Lyn Liu explains, “which means the ritual gestures used by practitioners to involve hands and fingers to form seals over practice.” Her artistic practice involves deep exploration of the hand. She has been working on the collection called Mudra for around four years now.

“In the early phase, obscure erotica and desire flooded my works and became an outlet of my instability, complaints, dissatisfactions, and even confusions,” she continues, “resulting from the confrontations between my personal values and those of the mainstream society.”

A Wuhan native, Lyn is a graduate of the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts. Her works are at once compelling and difficult. Does she think her drawings are creepy? “Freaky I think,” she tells me. “I love to be the stranger.” Looking through her works you feel conflicted. The hand becomes a place of death often showing dead bodies, but also a place of nurture with figures in the fetal position. The hand is also symbolized by fetish with bound and blindfolded human bodies under their power.

The hand is a powerful part of the body, but often times she subverts this power, rendering the hand as a metaphor for coercion in society. Although the hand can be used for good to caress and gently lead, it can also be used for violence and oppression.

Lyn Liu’s works are compelling. To say you enjoy looking at her art would be disingenuous, but without a doubt her works make you feel something, which is the purpose of art. “I enjoy the process of drawing on paper as well as on human skin,” Lyn says, which seems obvious as her work is about the human body. “Drawings on paper will affect the aura of the space, while those on skin change the aura of the person, which is a wonderful thing.”

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