Adina Guo

"Wai Gong"

  • Materials: oil on canvas

  • Dimensions: 16x18 inches

  • Artist statement: 

Artist’s statement

I visit my grandparents in Shanghai with my family during the summer, and they're always very welcoming. My grandpa loves to talk to us, and he goes on tangents about everything from my mother as a child to art theory. In this painting, we were in my grandparents' tiny kitchen, and my grandpa was describing to my sister and me how he loves singing. He told us that "My Heart Will Go On" by Céline Dion was his favorite, and we brought up the song on my sister's phone for him. 

What I wanted to capture in this painting was my grandpa's expression as he sang his heart out. There's an awkward language barrier between us, as my Chinese is unfortunately subpar, but we can still understand each other - my grandpa will rhapsodize about the beauty of music, and I will enthusiastically nod and offer some him some broken sentences. An observer can't converse with the subject of a painting, either, but they can still understand the feeling that the artist depicts, in a way transcending a communication barrier. I hope that this painting is like having a conversation with my grandpa despite the fact that no words are flowing. 

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Adina Guo is a Chinese-American artist from Ohio. Her work explores memories and dreams through warm hues and soft brushstrokes. Beyond creating art, she also enjoys taking two-hour naps and baking sweets.