michael leu


Born in Taiwan in 1951, I grew up in Taipei surrounded by the traffic and air pollution unavoidable in a big and overcrowded city. I recall being squeezed into buses on the way to school, watching the motorcycles, cars, and neon signs common in the city of Taipei. I loved this city and I wanted to do something to improve its environment. At that time I believed that architecture was the combination of art and environment that could help to solve urban problems through the beauty of design communication.

In 1977, I graduated with honors from Fong-Chia University, Taiwan, with a degree in architecture. After several years of practice, in 1984 I moved to the United States with my wife, to pursue my education, and moved to Houston, Texas. In 1985 I undertook further study in England, Italy, Switzerland and France.

My training and travel experiences led me eventually to choose New York City as my final destination. The combination of old and new buildings and the environment in New York remind me of Taipei. Merging architecture and art, I decided to paint New York. I travel around the city in search of ideas and inspirations. I try to see and describe the city by painting it with a variety of images, at different times, from various angles. Since New York is a very vibrant city, alive with activity, I usually sketch the scene quickly and then complete the work with colors in my studio. I also take a great number of photographs to remind me of special details and light situations that catch my eye.

I have been gradually experimenting with water colors, hand-pulled serigraphs, etchings and photographs. To date I have an established group of collectors of my art both in the United States and overseas, and thousands of people now own my original art work. My understanding of beauty and environment, nourished by my training and early practice, is visible in my work. I am pleased with the recognition that has been given me in a variety of awards for my New York Cityscape paintings.