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A Conversation with Painter and Writer Fong Min Liao

Fong Min Liao is a Chinese-American painter and writer. Born in San Francisco, she currently lives and works in New York City. Her interests include psychology, emotional intelligence, and beauty in its essential and simplest forms.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Fong. How did you begin painting and writing? Are these two creative practices related for you?

Creating with my hands was my first form of expression when I was a young child. I was obsessed with all the different types of tangible forms of creation. After graduating from high school, I did not paint for a few years. However, I returned to painting because I needed to return to myself. And in order to return to myself, I had to first find myself again. Painting was the path that led me back to me. Writing has always been my safe space. Writing opened up new universes when I felt that I did not belong in the world where I was born. I am deeply passionate about both painting and writing, and for me, these two expressions work synergistically in my practice.

What are you working on right now?

I currently have a solo exhibition in New York City. It is my first solo exhibition since moving to my new home and it is comprised of the paintings I have created since I moved to New York.

Is there a form of expression that most interests you at the moment?

Dancing! I love to express myself through movement and music. Dancing allows me to connect with myself and my body in a way that transcends painting and writing, and I am absolutely in love.

You write often about yin, or feminine energy. Could you tell us about your relationship to femininity? How did you become interested in Chinese cosmology and philosophy?

For a long time, I felt disconnected from my feminine energy. Growing up in a strict household that did not allow much freedom and being raised in a results-driven society left me deeply wounded. When I started my self-love journey, I came upon the concept of feminine and masculine energies, and I was fascinated. It opened up an entire new world for me and helped me to heal my soul. The Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang was my first way of understanding this ideology. I grew up with an identity crisis from being of Chinese descent and heritage, but born in America. Diving into the philosophies of my culture helped me to reconnect with my bloodline. And to this day, I find so much joy in continuing to learn more about my culture's philosophies.

In addition to writing poetry, you also post in-depth, inspirational messages online. How do you see the role of artists and writers today?

I see the role of artists and writers as being beacons of light in a world addicted to suffering. The ones who are able to synthesize their sensitivities and capacities to feel and to understand have a duty to share their gifts.

Relatedly, your writing concerns mental, emotional, and physical wellness—encompassing everything from health and fitness to self-love. How do you prioritize wellness in your life?

I make time. It is so easy to get caught in life and to forget about yourself. Creating time for yourself is a way of showing that you respect you.

Do you have any favorite self-care rituals?

Journaling, dancing, and skincare!

What is your relationship to skincare? How does Sonsie fit into your routine? 

I believe having healthy glowing skin is the number one indicator for good health. Beauty trends may come and go, but health is one size fits all. Therefore, skincare is very important. And it is also about having the right skincare products. Sonsie is the right skincare product for me.

In your opinion, what distinguishes Sonsie from other skincare options?

I love the simplicity of Sonsie. Less is more has always been a principle that I live by.

What is one message you’d like to share with our community?

Take the time to get to know yourself. Because you deserve the same kindness and patience you so readily gave to those who did not know or understand how to take care of you.


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