PARKWAY Artist Interview: Eric Louie

Artist Eric Louie has been practicing art full time since graduating from ACAD (Alberta University of the Arts) in 2002. He moved to Vancouver ten years ago and has worked with Elissa Cristall Gallery, and now currently Bau-Xi Gallery. While Louie’s paintings are cerebral and abstract, they often allude to the natural order of things and incorporate aspects of landscape, still life, portraiture, and architecture. The result is a sculptural melding of organic and geometric elements with digital aesthetics at the forefront.

Eric Louie is one of ten artists we selected to be part of a community plan project by BlueSky Properties in Downtown Surrey called PARKWAY. Their mission is to bring community to life in Surrey, and for us, a focus on art and culture is what leads to a truly vibrant and activated community. With this in mind, we are using their new sales centre to highlight art and artists inspired by life here in BC. You can read more about the project here.

“Mirage” by Eric Louie

Booooooom: How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?

Eric Louie: I would describe my work as two dimensional sculptures inhabiting spaces or unknown places. They are smooth to the touch yet sharp in their depictions of metallic-looking forms playing off one another. They are both metaphysical and abstract.

"The Soloist" by Eric Louie
"Road Trip" by Eric Louie

What is your motivation for making things? Why do you create?

I go into the studio almost every day to create. It is an ongoing process where I’m constantly thinking about paintings, even on my down time! It is certainly an obsession/addiction or whatever you’d call that. This desire to manifest my thoughts to reality and uncover them as I go along. That need to discover and add something to this world.

“Early Riser #1” by Eric Louie

Can you share a little context or a story about one of the artworks we purchased for PARKWAY, “Early Riser #1”?

I was playing around with these birdlike forms and this one became some hybrid with a plant of sorts. Not too sure how else I would describe its synthesis but these type of interactions occur a lot in my practice.

"Future Memory" by Eric Louie
"Water Dance" by Eric Louie

How has living here in BC inspired you?

Living in BC has had so much influence or inspiration on my work and life. The connection with nature seems to be heightened even when living in the city and finds its way into my art on many levels.

“Hot & Cold” by Eric Louie
"Artists definitely need community as we operate so often alone."
“Molten” by Eric Louie

With everything that is happening virtually these days, how important is it for you to still be part of a local arts community?

I’ve had the privilege of putting on a few shows during the pandemic and they felt kind of pointless without having people attend and that community. I really miss that interaction and in person dialogue/connection. Artists definitely need community as we operate so often alone. I’m excited for the times ahead where we can all meet freely.

“Black Bird” by Eric Louie

What’s one goal you have for this next year?

This year I’d like to focus on experimenting and discovery of new approaches in my work…some research and development.

What about one thing you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime?

I’d be fortunate to be invited to do a major museum show in my lifetime! That would be an honour.

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