Lili Yuan

About Lili Yuan

Based out of: Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville based artist Lili Yuan, originally from China, is a painter, as well as a photographer. Most of her paintings have a hyperrealism look based on her photography. Captivated by colors, Lili uses rich tones to give her paintings a strong physical presence. That presence is enhanced by her skill at rendering realistic figures and a sharp eye for manipulating proportion and scale.
This mural by Lili Yuan [“Wu-an”], spelled Y-U-A-N, is called Gift, at 1661 Central Avenue, facing east.

The mural is a circle, on a white wall roughly 23 feet tall and 20 feet wide. A woman in a rich red dress floats in a circle of bright blue water sparked by the Sun. She faces left, painted as if we’re above her, with her red dress spreading out and her long black hair floating in the water.

This detailed image is almost like a photo – blue and white abstract patterns spark the water like reflections in a pool. The woman’s long black hair flows past her shoulders and floats in the water, spilling past the edges of the circle onto the white wall.

Her bright red dress is sleeveless – one narrow strap is visible on her bare left shoulder as her left arm reaches out. Her skin is light. Her other shoulder’s hidden by her hair and her right arm is mostly hidden beneath her dress. Her arms are below the water, her skin patterned with sunlight.

The skirt of her long red dress is made of narrow pleated folds, floating in a tangle mostly gathered near her knees, as if she’s floating with her knees raised. Her feet stretch to the left, draped in wet red fabric that spills out of the mural and onto the white wall.

The fingers of her left hand rise out of the pool, holding a dripping palmful of water. In her hand, a single white flower is floating.

Below the circle, in the bottom left corner of the wall, Chinese calligraphy is painted in black. It translates as, “Be like water, as water stays humble while benefiting all.”

According to the artist, her mural shows the importance of water and strikes a chord with humans who should all be loving nature and preserving precious water resources.

She explains, “With millions of gallons of wastewater spilled around Tampa Bay in recent years, I chose to depict an obscured female surrounded by water, to convey an implicit narrative that the water and humanity are more tightly coupled than ever.”

Lili Yuan is a painter and photographer based in Jacksonville, and originally from China. When painting, she uses rich tones and hyperrealism inspired by her photography.

Title: Gift

Address: 1661 Central Ave

Building: Artistry St. Pete

Installation Date: 2020