Actress, mother and now artist Lynn Hsieh talks to P. Ramakrishnan about the latest turn in a life lived largely in the spotlight.
Lghts Silhouette her as she glides into the frame, while the photographer adjusts the reflector. Assistants buzz about, moving paraphernalia from sight so the portrait is perfect. Despite the constant activity, Lynn Hsieh remains cool, calm and composed.
No stranger to a set, the former actress runs a manicured hand across an aberrant curl and sets it in place while she finds her light. Within the first few minutes we have the shot, but like many around the gallery, there’s a reluctance to let the leading lady leave, as everyone wants a picture with the beautiful Taiwanese artist.
I ask if this reminds her of a movie set. “Yes, it does – but the location is a lot cleaner than most movie sets,” she says, and that renowned, beatific smile escapes her as we look around Poly Auction Gallery, which is festooned with her work.
We meet on the eve of the opening of her exhibition, Purity: An Oil Painting Exhibition (which ran until early September under the name Hsieh Ling Ling). Hsieh’s debut solo show in Hong Kong, it features 30 examples of her work created between 2011 and 2017. Alongside the connoisseurs and the simply curious who attend the opening are her five children: Emily, Evelyn, Eleanor (Elly), Lucas and Lester Lam.
“Of all my children,” she says, “I think Elly’s inherited my artistic side. She’s into music and fashion.
“When I used to paint at home, I had a little area where I set up my easel and near it there was a pool table. Whenever I had the brushes out, the children left me alone. If they were playing pool nearby, I didn’t mind. It never bothered me as I knew they were near and they were OK – and they let me be.”
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