Artist: Manyu Gao
Exhibition: Not Available
Media: Oil Painting
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: Not Available
About the Artist
Manyu Gao is a foreign exchange student from China. This is her second year at Cal State Long Beach and her final semester before she receives her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and move on to her Master’s of Fine Arts. Gao is a student in the School of Art’s Drawing and Painting program. For now, she is only interested in drawing and painting; however, she might decide to explore other forms of art later.
Gao’s art piece is an oil painting of a woman sitting alone in a restaurant of what is assumed to be McDonalds. She has her palms on her face and holding a drink on the other hand. There are also multiple burgers and fries on the table. Looking outside the big window, there seems to be a gas station across the street. The restaurant also seems to be located on the corner of a street. Gao mainly used straight vertical lines. It also looks very bumpy. The colors she used are a combination of dark and light but they all look very natural.
In this piece, she said she had to create a bigger composition from their sketchbook. Gao decided to choose this particular drawing out of her sketchbook because it expressed her feelings about loneliness. Gao moved here from China and immediately experienced culture shock. She felt very lonely and homesick as most of her family and friends were back home in China. She said that it was hard for her to adapt to the culture because it’s very different from China.
This painting immediately caught my attention. When I was eight years old, I moved to the United States from the Philippines. Just like Manyu Gao, I felt very lonely and homesick. Although some of my family came with me, my dad and little brother were left behind for a few months. My grandparents, whom I was very close to, were also in the Philippines. I was always alone at school and didn’t bother to make any friends. I also experienced bullying from other students because I was “different.” I chose this particular painting at the gallery because it was very relatable.