Expressive Hands Capture Portraits of Relationships and Cultural Heritage in Acrylic Paintings by Malisa Suchanya – Colossal

by The Insights


#acrylic painting #hands #Malisa Suchanya #painting #portraits

“Felicia.” All images © Malisa Suchanya, shared with permission

In vivid pinks, reds, greens, and blues, Oakland-based artist Malisa Suchanya renders the expressive outlines of hands immersed in floral and ornamental patterns. Interested in painting the human figure, she began focusing on appendages specifically during the pandemic, sharing that she “found deep love and satisfaction in trying to convey emotions and reflect relationships through the various arrangements, compositions and entanglements. She then participated in the permanent exhibition of Var Gallery 30x30x30 project, which invites artists to create 30 works of art in 30 days each January, stimulating creativity at the start of the new year.

I know very well that it is projects like these that harbor an incredible environment for growth, and that was exactly what it was for me,” says Suchanya. Forced to complete one painting a day, she spends about five hours on each work, plus an hour or two preparing for the next. “During the month, I noticed that my painting technique had changed a lot. It became a bit more time efficient and I was layering my colors with more confidence and ease…and it became almost meditative.

Suchanya has curated three sub-series within the collection, including portraits of hands belonging to people who had a profound effect on her throughout her life, reflections on being with others, and his cultural identity and upbringing in Singapore. Hands blossom from floral arrangements in the series of portraits and are titled with the names of individuals, while writhing and fluttering limbs against a black background form a whole exploring the nuances of relationships. And looking at her Chinese, Indonesian and Thai heritage, it has included examples of hand-framed colorful traditional masks.

Throughout the year, Suchanya attends artist markets and fairs across the country, including San Jose Made, updates of which you can find on her website and Instagram. She will also have a solo exhibition at the Mom and Pop Art Shop in Point Richmond, California later this year, and 30x30x30 continues at the Var Gallery in Milwaukee until June 4.

An acrylic painting of hands.

“I lean for you”

Hands acrylic paints.

Left: “May”. Right: “Red Demon Mask”

Hands acrylic paints.

Installation view, image courtesy of Var Gallery

An acrylic painting of hands and a mask.

“Black Kitsune”

Acrylic paintings of hands and a mask.

Left: “Thai mask”. Right: “I’m leaning on you”

An acrylic painting of hands and flowers.


An acrylic painting of hands.

“We do not agree”

An acrylic painting representing hands and a Chinese opera mask.

“Chinese Opera Mask”

An acrylic painting of a hand and flowers.


An acrylic painting of hands.

” We are well “

#acrylic painting #hands #Malisa Suchanya #painting #portraits

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