Art is a portal to tell my story of living between two cultures: being a citizen of China, and a resident of the U.S. Living in the ongoing pandemic and the antagonism between the two nations, my paintings depict the compartmentalized environments that I live in, and my emotional connection with domestic themes as I raise questions about the meaning of home. The unbearable inability I am facing on a daily basis drives me to consider my paintings as the containers of the “nomad” thoughts. The aspiration of wanting to express myself through language and conversation was compromised and compressed into painting materials and visual forms. Colors in these paintings are filtered and dimmed, which points to a sense of coldness I observe in my repetitive living patterns during the pandemic– being trapped in a humanless land and only able to see the traces I left in a space. The distinction between the air-tight surface and scratchy brush marks represents the paradox between hyperrealism and a gauzy, blurred romanticism. I believe in the power of painting because of its open-endedness in terms of communication. I am pointing at the mundane which all human beings can perceive, and I hope the spark in the dark can eventually make a good blaze. Painting is a practice to process the melancholy that comes from the disconnection in the present and the allergy to the past; painting is my reconciliation to the outside world and the reflection of the internal mind.