Tzu-Han Huang, or Mai to use her artist name, isn't an agent of chaos. But you could say she's an artist of chaos.
As the Taiwanese and UK-based artist tells us, her most recent pieces are random line portraits depicting faces and stories, as inspired by global chaos. "Everyone is suffering and can't see the end these days," she tells Creative Boom, "so I drew to express some of my struggles to this world."
Tzu-Han has had struggles in the past, too, some of which have been expressed through book form. Though her father was a casual artist, Tzu-Han's family didn't encourage their daughter to pursue creativity as a career. The artist's relationship with her mother, meanwhile, was one fraught with difficulty.
"I handmade a screen print illustrated book based on my own family as my final Master's project. My tutors asked me to publish this book, and I'm personally so proud of it: The book's name is Mother Monster, and it expresses how my mum has influenced my mental health. I have a strict mum, and before I left my family for the UK, I consistently felt controlled. I couldn't escape or breathe."
"I understand her love, and I love her as well. But I always feel I was a princess locked in the castle, and nobody can hear my thoughts."
As a child, a young Tzu-Han sought out educational books to find a way out of her situation and feelings. Yet nothing stood out from the many bookstores she searched in Taiwan. "A 'professional' doctor wrote all the educational books, and that confused me," she explains. "How does a doctor know anything about children if they and the parents are all adults? I was so confused about how adults can understand if they are not children themselves. Therefore, I decided to write a book from a child's point of view and tell those parents what we want and listen to me!"
"I haven't yet shared the book in public as I don't know how to plan the layout. I still wish to publish it in both English and Mandarin versions and am still looking for publishers who may be interested!"
Tzu-Han studied MA Illustration & Animation at Coventry University, in what was her first proper taste of art education. The experience changed the artist and offered many opportunities, for example creating pieces for a school project and exhibition supporting women in Pakistan.
The artist these days is obsessed with line drawing and loves expressing her thoughts and stories through them. "Most are single-line drawings, but I don't want to limit myself by just one line. I initially used an ink pen, but recently I am trying acrylic marker to be able to create something bigger."
"My daily inspiration comes from my emotions, especially sadness. My art is all based on my feelings and stories I experienced or heard. I love to tell the world what I feel and what I experienced. I have sensitive feelings, and I noticed some people don't have this ability. And that's why my art is born."