Crystal Liu transforms elements of nature - the night, stars, clouds, fleshy mountains, willow trees, blood, water, owls, octopuses, and flowers - into a lexicon of characters that enact extraordinary tales based on her private joys and sorrows.


Liu's drawings can be likened to Chinese landscape painting, in which every stroke and image is layered with meaning. But she subverts the serenity of these traditional scenes with violent forces. Her choice of materials, including fabric, gold leaf, felt, and textured paper, provides a subtle balance between seduction, humor and the macabre.

the mountains, "the wait", 2016

the moon and the tides, "everything must fall down", 2016

a balancing act, "holding it together", 2016

the mountains, "breach", 2016

a balancing act, "level", 2016

the moon and the tides, "swept me off my feet", 2016

the flowers, "looking up", 2016

the fray, home, 2013

the fray, roped in, 2013

the rock garden, falling, 2012