Intimate portraits and scenes of tradition are sweetly colored by pastels in New York-based artist Xiao Mei’s work.
Below, Xiao walks us through 5 themes that run through their portfolio of designs.
Themes: Tradition and Chinese Identity
“As an immigrant, being able to express myself and my heritage means a lot to me. Celebrating the Chinese New Year is one of the traditions I have, and Chinatown holds a special place for me to celebrate the tradition.
As a Chinese American, including my Chinese identity into my art is important to me. Representation matters and I want to use my illustrations to open dialogues and explore what it means to be Chinese.”
“Juxtaposition plays an important role when I create my works. I love to mix and match elements that have influenced me throughout my life. Whether it’s the east and western environment growing up, high-brow vs low-brow art, or the food I ate, the juxtaposition of my everyday encounters all translate into my vocabulary.”
“Joy is my top priority when I create. As long as I feel happy with what I am creating, I believe the energy will transfer to others when they look at my works.”
Theme: Color Overload
“Color is an immediate sensation that people see and feel even at first glance. I love to use a limited palette, usually 6 colors and under, and use it to the maximum effect that there’s always surprises within my works.”
Shop Xiao’s work below and check out their Society6 shop for more.