Monday, May 25, 2009

Upcoming Show in San Francisco - City Art Gallery

Next month, I'll participate San Francisco City Art Gallery's group theme show (Queer Art), in concurrence with Pride Month celebration. The show will be a truly fun event - it promises lots of boys, girls and beyond.

Exhibit on Display: June 3rd - 27th
Gallery hours: Wednesday - Sunday: Noon-9 pm.
Opening Reception: June 5, Friday, 7-10 pm.
Special Event: June 19th, Friday, 7-10 pm. -- A Night of Queer Performances at City Art Gallery.

Address: 828 Valencia Street (between 19th and 20th Streets), San Francisco, CA 94110

Parking is available on 21st Street, between Mission and Valencia.
By Muni: 26, 14 or 49; by BART: 16th Street Mission or 24th Street Mission.

I'll bring an oil painting and two charcoal drawings to the show.

Please come to the gallery and have some fun!

Friday, May 22, 2009


William and Mary Review at Williamsburg, Virginia has just published my painting Upstream (30"x30", oil on canvas) and Branches (24"x18", oil on canvas) .

Below are my previous publications in the William and Mary Review.

Room with a Lamp
Oil on canvas
28" x 22"

A Young Frenchman
Oil on canvas
24" x 20"

A Young Frenchman (variation)
Oil on canvas
24" x 20"

Oil on canvas
30" x 40"

In 2007, Amistad online magazine at Howard University, Washington DC also published three paintings from my Apocalypse Series.

View online - Chose Art, then Matthew Felix Sun

Or view the PDF archiv <-- need to add this PDF to my own website

Birds and Men
Oil on canvas

Devils' Dance
Oil on canvas

The Triumph of Saint George
Oil on Canvas

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Berkeley Theatres Struck Gold in Bloody Plays

Recently, two theaters in Berkeley struck gold, bloody red gold.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre's The Lieutenant of Inishmore by Martin McDonagh, directed by Les Waters made a huge splash in the audience and on stage. It was hilarious, funny, sad, scary and downright nauseating. The gallons of theatrical blood employed show after show generated huge talk and collective moan but it was an amazing show. Yet, I felt the set was too realistic to truly feel the impact of the play. If the direction and set design were a little more abstract or exaggerated, it might have worked better; however, as it is, it might be the very conflict between the verisimilitude and absurdity of the plot empowered the play.

Less bloody but even more disturbing due to the intimate setting of Aurora Theatre, August Strindberg's Miss Julie, directed by Mark Jackson, starring Beth Deitchman (Christine), Mark Anderson Phillips (Jean), Lauren Grace (Miss Julie), triumphed in an effort of stylized realism (or naturalism, to please the playwright). It was a huge hit with audience and critics yet it was less than truly satisfying - the valet Jean to the Count was utterly charmless and without unstoppable ambition which were the reasons to capture both Miss Julie and poor Christine. The social constraint on women and lower classes were portrait well, but the sudden turn of Christine to an unpleasant moralistic bible-trotting bully was overdone. It seemed that American productions of such European plays often failed to convey the pathos and resignation if the face of insurmountable social hierarchy, either due to the limitation of the production team of the choice of them, so as to resonate with an audience the creative team believed (rightly or wrongly) would fail to grasp the spirit of such early seminal works unless the connection to the American lifestyle was made explicit. Even so, it was a bloody show, particularly Lauren Grace's Miss Julie. Brava.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Summerfest: Cal Staff Appreciation Day - 13 May 2009

On 13 May 2009, I participated Cal Summerfest - Staff Appreciation Day, and met a few fellow travelers at the event called "Life After Five".

I showed two paintings and print portfolio:

Other art and craft works on display:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shop Window Galleries

Recently, more and more empty shop windows took hold of cities big or small. Berkeley, California has its share of such depressing sights. However, a few empty shop windows are temporarily occupied by some artworks, giving walkers-by some reprieves. Would any one still doubt the importance of art?

Summerfest: Cal Staff Appreciation Day

Berkeley's 24th Annual Staff Appreciation Day, Summerfest 2009, will take place on Wednesday, May 13 from 1:30-3:30 pm at Memorial Glade.

Summerfest 2009 will feature free music, food and refreshments, T-shirts, bingo, prizes, a display of staff talent, staff organizations, and other guests. My office Residential and Student Service Programs (RSSP) will participate it, including exhibition booth to showcase artistic endeavors by RSSP staff members. I will bring a couple of paintings and other materials to this event from 1:30-3:30 pm.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kitsch in Beijing Capital International Airport

On my way back from China, I had almost four hours to explore the newly built Beijing Capital International Airport. There are art galleries and stage and booths showcasing different regions in China - currently on display are works from Hebei Province next to Beijing.

The art gallery in my terminal displayed "bone porcelain" plates, vases and other products. Most of them are very beautiful but inevitably, some kitsch took the center space - a giant plate of Mao Zedong portrait sat right in the middle of the beautiful utilitarian merchandises.

In one of the showcases from Hebei Province, I picked out an expensively produced catalog of snuff boxes but found nothing nice in it. The catalog started with a grandiose owner of the enterprise and an array of awards and certificate pictures, followed by pictures of visiting VIPs (exclusively politicians) and calligraphy by some of those VIPs. Only then, you would see the products. Most of the snuff boxes were painted with vulgarity, but it was the kitsch stood out. Many snuff boxes featured the president and prime minister of China, striking heroic or caring poses during the 2008 earthquake, or many famous athletes or scientists.

In last few decades, China has transformed greatly but definitely not everything.