I believe that imagination creates the future.
My name is Lihui Liang. I created CounterReality Art Studio in August 2017. I am originally from Beijing, China. I moved to San Francisco in 2012 to study Industrial Design at California College of the Arts. Majoring in Industrial Design limited my exploration of big ideas, so I created CounterReality. The mission of CounterReality is to explore the ultimate questions: Who are we? What is the nature of reality? What is the meaning of life?
In 8 months, I have produced more than 200 paintings and more than 1000 drawings, primarily automatic paintings and portraits. In my automatic paintings series, I paint pictures directly from my mind. They come out as animals and plants in imaginary scenes. In my portraits series, I paint the abstract shapes and colors that come to mind when I ask the models questions to better understand their inner selves. In the portraits, they often get connected with their spirit animals in an imaginary background.
During the artistic exploration, I find that imagination doesn’t only exist in my mind. It also influences the material world. What I imagine comes to life if I follow the right mindset:
- Willingness to see things clearly
Not everything is good. A lot of things are bad. If we treat all events with care and an open heart, we will learn to see things as they are.
- Understand and accept ambiguity
Ambiguity creates an open space for new thoughts and ideas. Ambiguity invites accidents and innovation. Ambiguity empowers us to gain a better understanding of the world.
- Humility to explore
Our brains are filled with information given by other people. Most of the information is opinion disguised as knowledge. By exploring the world with an open mind, we will see more.
I host various types of philosophy and art events. I started having intimate, one-on-one conversations with philosophers, strategist, mathematics, data scientists, artist and public speakers. These conversations often happen in the portrait sessions. I realized that people would have a lot to say if I listened to them with humility and asked the right questions. People may have totally different perspectives to understand the same world. I don’t think any style of thinking alone can discover the ultimate truth. If our goal is to know the truth, we need to first connect with other people. I then started to host philosophy discussion events and artist collaboration events on topics such as: how to live an authentic life, what is beauty and truth, Stoicism in practice and more.
While all events emphasize intellectual and creative exploration, CounterReality clothing and accessories bring curiosity, joy and compassion to everyday life.
I will continue to explore the relationship between the mind and the material world. I hope to inspire more people to experience the power of imagination. I believe that imagination will create a beautiful and diverse future.