Booth #S401

Artist Bio: Howard Qiu started to paint at the age of six.  He attended many art courses during his middle school, high school, college years.  Even during his graduate study, he found time to study painting at Art Student League of New York.

Paul Klee deemed that the essence of music was rhythm, in paintings with a linear construction, where rhythm is expressed by the density of lines. These are the structural elements of composition common to both music and painting.

Klee stated that the central motif in music corresponds to a similar composition in a painting. The derivation of the motif into various different parts could correspond to the superposition and transformation of colors. Just as a motif in Bach’s polyphonic works can appear in a modified form as a vocal part, an amplified or contracted composition could appear in any part of a painting as well.

It’s said that paintings can reproduce scenes from real life and that music can impart joy or melancholy. Paul Klee tried to use colors to express music and sentiment, and this made one artist think why not develop this technique further with the aim of using painting to directly represent a piece of music or a song, with many different interpretations.

There are examples in the history of art where masters have created works through a synesthesia of music, image, and color. Wassily Kandinsky, a pioneer of abstract art, improvised his representative work impression III after hearing Schoenberg’s Abstract Twelve-Tone Music debut concert.

Kandinsky and Klee both made use of synesthesia in painting and music to interpenetrate the two art forms, but the correspondence was vague and rough, in a large part because it was based on a sensual description and was not developed into a direct correspondence whereby a painting could visually represent an episode of music.

So artist Howard Qiu wondered whether there was any way to bring the two art forms directly together so that one can be translated into the other. He found a way to do exactly that after extensive research.

Howard Qiu breaks down his method into five steps, which are noted below:
Sound sequence – Howard will work out a system of how the notes are scaled out either from a 5 note or a 7 note scale. He will work out the tones and melodies of how it should sound, then come up with a number system for the keys working out the octaves.

Color Collection – With the number range, he then has an index from which he then can create a color code. Commonly using the pan-tone color system, which comes from the USA.

Mapping the sound sequences and color values – Howard would then line up the color systems as resources to assign values and notes to specific colors.

Variation of color value sequence – Then the color key is put into the picture and the tone of color has to be executed. “When converting audio data into visual data, one can transform a color value sequence according to different elements in the audio data to obtain various visual effects. I can exemplify this application with color shifting. It rearranges color in a specific order, including a variation of hue, lightness, purity, complementation and/or integration.”

The time value of sound data – “A ‘note’ specifies the duration of a tone. Common notes include semibreves, minims, crotchets, quavers, semiquavers etc. The time duration of a note is called its time value and determines how long a note lasts. Music is known as the art of tempo because of its inextricable connection to the movement of time. Therefore he can match the time duration of a note to the painting space.

See Howard Qiu’s short summary of the concept of music & art and the forever eternal relationship between the two below:

“The most important elements in music are melody and rhythm, which represent the sound pitch and the time values or duration of beats. In my experience of painting music, I present melody with a color gamut or pattern and a certain pitch within the color range and denote duration of beats with cells in proportion to their sound value. These two basics found the theory of painting music and encapsulate the entire creation.”

Kandinsky and Klee both made use of synesthesia in painting and music to interpenetrate the two art forms, but the correspondence was vague and rough, in a large part because it was based on a sensual description and was not developed into a direct correspondence whereby a painting could visually represent an episode of music.

Additional Info:
Howard Qiu believes that:

“The most important elements in music are melody and rhythm, which represent the sound pitch and the time values or duration of beats. In my experience of painting music, present melody with a color gamut or pattern and a certain pitch within the color range and The duration of beats with cells in proportion to their sound value. These two basics found the theory of painting music and encapsulate the entire creation.”

Howard Qiu thinks that Kids are born artists, they love colors and painting. Educator Dexter VeeBeh believed: “for kids, painting one hour could learn more than reading for nine hours.”

Howard Qiu said: Music induces all area of kids’ talent development. Exposing kids to music and color during early learning help them to learn in harmony in build essential skills and prepare for a bright future.

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