The leaf patterns are from the species, Colocasia esculenta, also known as “Elephant Ear” or “芋” in Chinese. Native to southern China and Southeast Asia, the roots of this species, known as taro, are thought to have been cultivated in the region for more than ten thousand years. The leaves I used for reference in this painting came from my father’s garden where he has grown them for years, where they love the heat and humidity of the Kentucky summer.
The shapes of the mountains are a mix of real forms from the Li River area of China and inventions of my own. The Li River area in Guangxi Province in southwest China is an incredible place. This painting is my attempt to express some of its magic.