Lucy Liu is known for her roles in Charlie’s Angels, Kill Bill, and Elementary. But what many may not know is that she is also a remarkable artist, in every sense of the word.
According to Artsy, “Liu’s interest in art began at the age of 15, and she has been showing her works in solo and group shows in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Canada since 1993.” She continues to delve into art today, working out of a studio in New York.
This month, a selection of her works from 2001 to the present, alongside Shubigi Rao‘s works, are on display at the National Museum of Singapore as part of the exhibition called Unhomed Belongings.
Most of Lucy’s works feature discarded objects transformed into “personal artifacts” to convey themes of safety and belonging. This is highly transparent in her Lost and Found series, also a part of the exhibit. She said her fascination with found objects was influenced by her childhood in the Queens neighborhood.
“My parents were out all the time working. We were latchkey kids,” the artist shared. “I had siblings, and we would let ourselves in after school, we’d come home and make ourselves TV dinners, so it was just about very basic things like survival. And finding this series Lost and Found was about finding a place and belonging somewhere. I have always wanted that nurturing feeling, the feeling of being taken care of and loved.”
The ongoing series, which she started in 2012, features books acquired after a printing house in Italy had thrown them away. Outside, they look pristine, but inside, the pages are carved with holes used to house objects found on the street. “I would see [discarded] things on the ground and pick them up,” Lucy explained. “I actually felt sorry for things thrown on the ground or discarded, and it sort of just broke my heart. I made it a point of picking things up, and I used to put them in a box, but I started putting them in books.”
The process of manually cutting all the pages isn’t easy, but with the final output, Lucy sees objects become beings “pleased to have a place of safety.” The intent behind them is for audiences to feel that too. “What you want is someone to feel [a sense of] safety when looking at your work, so they can feel it, too, for themselves,” she said.
For more information regarding the exhibit, go here.