Crystal Liu (b. 1980, Canada) has graduated with honors from the Ontario College of Art & Design in 2003 majoring in Photography, and received an MFA in New Genres at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2005.


Liu constructs landscapes as metaphors for the intangible forces that drive human beings from within. Tying intimately with her emotional states, Liu derives the narratives of intention and desire with teetering optimism through her portrayal of the moon, stars, mountains and rocks in her paintings. The complexities of life, from hopefulness to desolation, are carefully infused into the landscapes of her work, alluding to truths from the artist’s own private life.


She precisely applies clusters of dots in her paintings, which become a signature surface texture. She also lets the paint take their own course when she uses them with ink washes and marbling techniques, making the elements in her paintings “sprout”, like the nature of life. The swirls of marbleized paint echo the heritage art of Chinese ink paintings. The distinct edged collage mimics the hard and enormous stones, mountains and cliffs of the natural world, providing shelter and protection, and elevating other forms, such as birch trees and chrysanthemum flowers, closer to the moon.


She has exhibited extensively in Greater China and North America. Liu’s works are in many public and private collections internationally including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Arts Commission, Ellie Mae Inc., Fidelity International, Microsoft Inc., and the Progressive Art Collection. She currently works and lives in San Francisco.