A Better World painted Collection
Prior to these pieces, I only used watercolor, markers, Chinese paint brush, and paper to create art. In the midst of one of my hardest years, I was drawn to acrylic paint and canvas, both of which I had never used before. When I painted, I felt moved by God and painting was a joint venture we did together. When I painted, I sought inner peace and a world that could be made well by kindness towards one another. In turn, my fears were quelled by joy and I experienced healing through creating. It is my hope that my art would be a vehicle for change and that the stories behind each piece would inspire, encourage, and strengthen those going through hardships of all kinds.
This collection of five art pieces is entitled “A Better World” and it is my testimony in colors. I dedicate this series to my late father who passed away suddenly in August 2021. Divided by countries, an ocean, and a pandemic, I was unable to be by his side and to take one more walk together. He was a dear friend and mentor that always believed in my dreams. In honor of his memory, one-third of all sales from these cards will be donated to the Angel Heart Family Foundation of Taiwan, an organization that provides a network of support and resources for family members that care for children with disabilities.
the stories behind the art
Faith - Parting Waters (2018)
My family faced many challenges when we moved to the USA. We were not able to return to our homeland, Taiwan, for 16 years. In this painting, the blues represent the vast ocean between where we lived physically and where our hearts were with our parents and siblings. But this is a story of the faith we held onto: that one day we would return to Taiwan to reunite with family. The reds and yellows of this painting represent the fiery difficulty we endured to journey back. Much like the way God parted the waters of the Red Sea for His people to cross to safety into their Promised Land, the waters in this painting are pushed back by the paths forged by faith to go back home.
Hawaiian Volcano (2018)
In 2005, we were finally able to return to Taiwan and our whole family in the USA was reunited with our relatives . We endured 16 years of waiting. In that time, we experienced poverty, lies, accusations, and isolation. But there wasn’t a day we didn’t always try our best to work hard and to grow our business. We were even able to stop in Hawaii on our way home to New York to show one of my aunts that we had made it. It was as if all the years of endurance and trials mounted until they finally erupted like the volcanoes of Hawaii. I never hated the people that had made the journey harder or who had refused to help us in our need, I just felt this world could be kinder. Even though the molten lava threatened to smother me, they were the fires that forged character and provided fertile soil to grow even stronger.
Seeking Peace / Jiaming Lake (2018)
My greatest torments and fears have come from the unkind and untrue words spoken against me. I created this painting when I realized that fighting back the lies were useless. Instead, I sought inner peace and relief from the stress by praying for myself and for them. Later on when scrolling through a newsfeed, I came across photos of one of the most beautiful lakes in Taiwan - Jiaming Lake located in Taitung County. The second highest in Taiwan and oval-shaped like an egg, the vibrant blue lake reminded me of this painting. Though I have never visited, I am sure that the same feeling of peace would come upon the viewers of this lake as I found when creating my painting.
Unshakable Joy (2018)
The many colors in this painting represent the harmonious creation God formed on the land and in the sea. This painting came from the place of deep longing that I experienced when I deeply missed my parents in Taiwan, but for so long it was impossible to go home to them. This painting represents an aerial view of my journey from New York to Taiwan. I used this picture and many of my paintings as a connection to my parents. I miss them so much and couldn’t spend time with them often. When I painted, I could feel them beside me. Whenever I felt a painting was finished, I took a picture to send them. They were always the first witnesses to my final products. I have learned that when encountering trouble and difficulty, it’s important to not focus on yourself. Try to let go of your anxiety. Praying for others is good for them and for yourself. When painting this piece, I pondered these lessons as I sought to be with my parents.
愛 Love (2017)
This painting depicts the tug of war that was taking place inside me. I longed to go home to my parents in Taiwan but I was afraid of returning to another side of the family that disliked me. I didn’t know how to survive and breathe in that latter’s toxic environment. So I needed to grow in love to expand and overcome my fear and disdain of my enemies. The greatest battle is in my heart where I am trying to learn to accept people of all kinds. In this art piece, I wrestled with how I should accept whatever the world offers - people with all different backgrounds and cultures. People have different hobbies, music preferences, and so much more. It’s the dilemma - how do we make everyone get along in such a world of differences?
Angel Heart Family Social Welfare Organization is the first of its kind in Taiwan to provide a network of support and resources for parents, siblings, and family members that care for children with disabilities. They do this through holding musical concerts, parent seminars, parent-child camps, and events to build public awareness and acceptance of families and children with disabilities.
Artist: Hsu Min Tzu
Photographer: Michael Lee
Editor: Jeanne Lee
This set of fine art cards is the first of what her family hopes will be many ways to showcase the creative talents of our mother, Hsu Min Tzu. Art has become a way for her to interweave her parents’ heritage, personal story, and purpose. For many years, her life was defined by the work she did to support her family as a first generation immigrant, working endless hours to make ends meet. It was only recently that she’s had a chance to devote time to care for her own needs - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. She was drawn to art and found a channel that not only allowed her to create beauty from darkness, but also to receive healing through creating. Like a flower that blooms in the desert, Hsu Min Tzu’s art is all the more glorious because it came from years of struggle and pain. It is a remarkable sight to see our mother become more fully who she is and it has been a privilege to know her story better through making her artwork known.