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Chinese-born, Maryland-based painter Huaqi Liu uses images of clouds — depicting their diversity, variability, and naturalness — to explore the concept of destiny from a Chinese perspective. His artworks showcase a deep understanding of nature and philosophy, as well as an emotional and aesthetic pursuit of clouds.


He received his B.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from SUNY New Paltz University, and later obtained his M.F.A. and teaching certificate from the Leroy E. Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. He won the MICA’s merit scholarship in 2021. Liu’s artworks have been featured in group exhibitions in various cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, New York, and Missoula. He exhibited as the finalist of the 8th Annual Artist’s Choice Art Competition, Fusion Art, and contributed to The Blooming Rainbow Project, a sister cities community exchange that won the Mayoral Certificate of Recognition from the city of Baltimore.

Artist Statement

Surprisingly and poetically, the Chinese character for “destiny” contains the character for “cloud” within it. This curious association between two things that at first appear utterly different suggests a beautiful analogy. “Cloud” becomes a metonym for “destiny,” encoding the abstract, philosophical notion in a concrete, experiential image. As destiny is determined by multiple unseen forces, the lives of clouds are guided by the wind and all the vast, invisible phenomena of climate and weather.


Liu's oil paintings depict the dynamics,  textures, and spaces of clouds through different movements, media, and sizes. The manner and existence of abstract cloud formations are determined by the combination of surrounding atmospheric elements. Clouds do not have fixed shapes or colors; their mutability reflects the different meanings assigned to them by people with different individual histories and cultures. Having grown up with a Chinese cultural background, Liu views clouds as the best explanation for destiny, representing a spiritual aura within the universe and nature.

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