Martin Hsu is an Asian American artist living and working in San Francisco, CA. He fell in love with drawing at his grandparents' house while growing up in Taiwan. In 1991, Martin moved to the US with his parents due to health reasons that completely changed his life. Martin graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation from California State University in Fullerton, and worked professionally as a character designer for Nickelodeon and Disney TV Animation.
Martin learned how to paint by studying works by his favorite artists and by making lots of bad paintings; he learned what to paint by studying books on Asian history, world mythology, and family photo albums. Martin is a traditionalist making art in the contemporary world. He creates New Traditional Asian Art by fusing modern narrative with eastern sensibility. Works of peony blossoms and goldfish mermaids painted with delicate precision by using calligraphy brush directly onto wood panels, covered in thin layers of metallic gold and silver to resemble imperial silk. Surreal and serene images depicting an infinite universe transcending time and space where tradition blooms and mythology lives.
Martin is a naturalist at heart. Half human creatures from myths and legends represent the struggle with our animal nature, that by destroying the natural world, we destroy a part of ourselves. His works glorify our kinship with the planet by humanizing virtual reality and by bringing warmth to technology. Since 2006, Martin’s original artwork has been shown all around the world, including Young Art Taipei in Taiwan, Asia Contemporary in Hong Kong, Hello Kitty Anniversary Exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, Disney’s WonderGround Gallery by Disneyland, and on the Google campus.
Martin never lost sight of his roots in the new world. His cultural heritage and family ties remain the biggest influence in his work. As an immigrant in America and an inhabitant of this planet, Martin hopes to continue his contemplation through art about our existence now and beyond.
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