CECILIA AISIN GIORO
Think of being a little girl just coming to consciousness in the Chengbai mountains of Chinese Manchuria. Here Cecilia’s Grandmother was a respected doctor of Chinese medicine and holder of the Manchu culture. It was a place of great beauty, with rich textures, brilliant colours, and pleasant pastoral scenes. Cecilia’s imagination races to take it all in and one day her beloved grandmother came to her and said, “My little girl you need to learn to paint”. For Cecilia, like her grandmother, painting is more than art. It is a connection to her Qing ancestors, a doorway to the past, and a means of dealing with an increasingly turbulent and changing world. Here deep in the mountains her grandmother taught her to paint watercolours in the style called “royal meticulous” which was favoured in the court paintings of the Qing emperors. Even as a little girl she showed great talent with a brush, and quickly understood how to paint the magical landscape around her. At the university she encountered a famous painter, Cheng Yi-fei who instructed master. Putting the two techniques together Cecilia pioneered a new style of painting. Cecilia places great value on technique, colour, expression and texture in her artistry, but she has never forgotten the lessons of her grandmother and the Qing heritage she inherited so long ago. Her work reflects a mastery of rich colors and imagery and her paintings reflect an elegance of time and place.
top left, Stage No. 2, oil on canvas, 47” x 31” right, That Night, the Magic Mirror, oil on canvas, 31” x 47” following pages, left, The Stage No. 1, oil on canvas, 31” x 47” right, That Night No. 2, oil on canvas, 31” x 47”