ElecTrip - The Playful World of UV Colors Beyond the Canvas
The city of Hai Phong in February is grim and gray, with sudden showers almost every day. Yet in the middle of the expat hub in Dang Lam district, there is a celebration of colors and lights.
From Feb 4-26, the Mango Studio (Van Cao street, Hai Phong) hosted the ElecTrip exhibition, displaying dozens of vibrant artworks by Elizabeth Blanco, an American artist.
Elizabeth, or Liz, is a self-taught doodler, painter, and muralist with a passion for psychedelic installations. She first explored UV colors in 2020 and was captivated by their power to transform a regular painting. Switching between many mediums, watercolor, ink, acrylic, the expat artist finds UV color most interactive.
"For the ElecTrip exhibition, I wanted to showcase the art I've done that has a more playful psychedelic aspect. I use bold colors and UV/blacklight responsive paint - so some of the art is actually 2 pieces of art, depending on the lighting conditions," said Liz.
Moved by experiences of personal development and self-inquiry, Liz loves to set her imagination onto paper and canvas. She uses bold colors and dynamic textures in her designs and pushes what can be experienced in varying lighting conditions.
|The four PsyCats: Air, Water, Fire (2023) by Elizabeth Blanco (Photo by Zoey Nguyen).|
The playful sketches of animals, flowers, and natural creatures show them living and prospering in harmony. They blend in, complement each other in colors, shapes and movements. According to Liz, our surroundings, especially the wild, seem random, without specific patterns. However, with a closer and more patient look, we might find they are so much in coordination with each other; perfectly balanced between chaos and order.
The loudest elocution without a sound
The exhibition organizer, Rebecca of Mango Studio, believed in the power of embracing your uniqueness. It will not only set your mind and body free but also inspire others to do the same.
Inspired by Liz's creations, Rebecca showcased a special painting show/performance called "Elocution" using UV paints on the opening night of Electrip. This invite-only event welcomed about 40 art lovers, artists and friends of Liz and Rebecca, most are expats living in Hanoi and Hai Phong.
In Elocution, Rebecca is wrapped head to toe in a white suit, representing a white canvas. The exciting part began when she received a transformation with the help of three scientists. These whited-coated madheads painted her, put her in UV colors. Meanwhile, Rebecca expressed herself in free-flowing movements, representing a celebration of colors and lights. No background music was played, yet it was a loud and energetic form of public performance. The audience cheered and applause from beginning to end.
|The exhibition's opening evening on Feb 4 in Mango Studio (Photo courtesy by Elizabeth Blanco and Rebecca Milward).|
Art as a practice of playful meditating
"ElecTrip" is not the first time Liz displayed her arts in public but is her solo physical exhibition. It was playfulness and meditation she rendered from the process of creating these artworks, in contrast to the stress she seldom felt.
The American artist, born and raised in Chicago, learned that once she allowed herself to try new things, shut down thoughts and just enjoy the present time, painting is the best mediating remedy in life. She often uses the image of mushrooms as the main subject, then work out the background with repetition or an arrangement of geometric shapes, lines.
"These paintings represent me, even though it just looks like a picture of a mushroom or a flower. It is about my journey in Hanoi and in Vietnam over the past 4 years. Painting is somewhat [a] mediation to me, so when I meditate while painting, I feel my life and my art is more colorful," said Liz.
|Painting "Abstract Protest" (2022) by Elizabeth Blanco (Photo courtesy by Elizabeth Blanco).|
One of the paintings, "Electric Development", shows a pair of red mushrooms with white dots in a large starry space. It also shows a floating planet in the background, with patches of colors, its reflection on the green-colors ground.
Under normal lights, the paintings are smooth with a certain level of calmness, but with the purple lights, the colors are intense and mysterious. the creature this doodle emerged slowly from the depths of the unconscious, growing ever larger and invading space.
|Painting "Electric Development" (2021) by Elizabeth Blanco (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Blanco).|
You never know this special feature if you don't try putting the artwork in a different light. The interactive experience brought by Liz and Rebecca encourages people to take a chance on trying to create art.
"Full-time or part-time, as a professional or just for fun, any type of art can be rewarding," exclaimed Liz.
|Painting "Bridal Veil Stinkhorns" (2022) and "Pink Domecap" (2022) by Elizabeth Blanco (Photo by Zoey Nguyen).|
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