Jian Ping's column
Lucy Liu: "I want to be an art
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"I'm extremely proud of the collections from our Chinese
artists," Liu said.
"They represent different age groups, styles, and themes.
Some are well-known, and some are emerging artists,
including Wang Luyan, Lu Yanzheng, Liu Ren and Li
Huichang," continued Liu. "I found their work not only of
high quality, but also very profound and touching."
Liu said she had lived many years in Europe and the U.S.
She has seen Chinese artists' works featured in France,
Germany, and Netherland, but not as prominently in the
U.S. She hopes to be a cultural ambassador to introduce
their work in the U.S. and worldwide.
By Jian Ping
Lucy Liu pointed to a number of paintings featured on a wall that are sample collections of
ArtBarcs, a company co-founded by Liu and her husband Russ Rosenzweig. She explained
that the company uses a sophisticated algorithm to "learn" what collectors are drawn to, and
then matches them with paintings and other art, which ArtBarcs has selected from five
continents around the world.
“I want to be an art ambassador,” said Liu.
Liu singled out a paining of hers on the wall and said it was one of her recent creations. It is
a rainy summer scene with colors of green, pink, and yellow that are very much intensified by
An artist in her own right, Liu's paintings are mostly landscapes and seascapes, with brilliant
colors. They are striking to the eye, and radiate a soothing harmony with nature.
“I put my heart and soul into my painting during the creative process,” she continued. “I'd feel exhausted after I finish a piece of
work. This one took me two months.”
Liu entered the art world accidently. She was born in Yantai, China and grew up largely in Shenzhen, a southern city next to
Hong Kong. Disenchanted by her college experience in China, she left for Paris at 19. She spent a year learning French,
visiting art galleries, and backpacking all over Europe to explore the culture.
Photos of Lucy Liu and her studio (above and right below)
In college, her major field of study was business and
finance. She studied in Paris and London, ultimately
earning her MBA in the U.S.
She came to Chicago to visit a relative and fell in love with
the city and her husband, Rosenzweig, a leading Chicago
They resided in the Gold Coast area on Chicago's North
Side, in the Florsheim Mansion, a landmark building where
they established an artist-in-residence program in 2007.
One of the residents was Dan Cumpata, one of the best-
known living artists in the world. It was Cumpata who
discovered Liu's talent in painting and became her mentor.
Liu loved painting and took classes at the Art Institute in
Chicago to enhance her techniques. She made such
progress that in 2009, with the help of Cumpata, she had a
solo exhibition in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Realizing the difficulties encountered in viewing artworks at
museums and galleries, Liu decided to utilize her training in
business and consulting experience to create a new forum
for artists and art collectors to meet. She co-founded
ArtBarcs to feature artworks in painting, photography,
sculpture, as well as other creative arts, with the goal of
matching art patrons and artists using digital technology.
“Many people are intimidated at art galleries or museums if
they don’t know enough about the artwork or artists,” Liu
said. “By posting our handpicked selections online, we
make artwork accessible to everyone."
Liu and Rosenzweig organized a team and spent three years selecting over 4,000 pieces of artwork across five continents.
Approximately 40 of the featured artists are from China.
ArtBarcs was officially launched in November 2012.
Liu's eyes sparkled as she talked about her vision
“We are very unique,” she said. “All the artists we
feature are living and interesting in their own right.
We look forward to connecting people, and building
an art community and network which will endure