Defined by a creative style that’s rhythmic, patterned and high-contrast, Francesco Lietti is both a visionary and an idealist. His works are rendered in bold and highly saturated hues that capture the imagination in an instant. Lietti recalls his arrival in Asia as a fascinating moment filled with vibrancy, energy, and beauty of its people, landscapes, and cityscapes.
He encapsulates all senses in his painting allowing the experiences and adventures to be immortalized. Inspired by travel and discovery, he brings his views onto the canvas. Lietti immerses himself into the process through different in-depth stages of elements, layers and colors. His works are featured in private collections worldwide and his exhibition at the Taipa-Houses Museum provides a glimpse to a life akin to a kaleidoscope.
Tell us about your journey from architecture to art.
I’m an architect and I studied in Milan. I also expanded my studies in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts, La Seine, and also at the Clerkenwell College of Printing in London where I worked. I came to Hong Kong in 2006 and worked in an architectural firm for a few years. I’ve always painted since childhood and then on the side here, I’ve started doing residencies with schools. I do collaborative painting with educational institutions and it expanded to that, it usually lasts for a week and it’s been a meaningful venture for me. I am based here now and I saw an opportunity on this line of work and I am now a full-time artist (smiles).
How did you end up working in Macau?
The Italian Consulate is very generous with me. In this case, the consulate consulted with me and I thought it’s a great opportunity. I created a few new pieces for Art Macao and exhibited a few I’ve made already. I have a lot of paintings that were inspired by travels in Asia; some of the paintings are about Shanghai, India, Singapore and discovering destinations. I added a little bit of Hong Kong and a tribute to Macau, of course.
What do you think about Macau’s art scene?
I honestly don’t know much about it but I know it’s flourishing. I would definitely love to explore more. I also did a show in Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel a few years ago in cooperation with the Italian Consulate. They put a few pieces up for auction for charity and that was quite a remarkable event.
Have you explored Macau? What did you think about it?
I went to museums and explored amazing works of art. I go there at least once a year and visit Fernando of course. I have had many opportunities to explore Macau and Taipa and I love taking my time to just walk around.
What do you think about Macau architecture?
I like the sense of nostalgia. I like the old streets and the feeling of a historical setting. It’s reminiscent of old Portugal. I quite like the Grand Lisboa and Zaha Hadid’s Morpheus at City of Dreams.
How would you describe your art?
It’s abstract, naive, landscape and urban vision. But, I am becoming more realistic more recently and less abstract.
Who buys your artwork?
Mostly expats who want to bring back memories of Hong Kong to their home. I also get travelers who long for memories of places. I work on original paintings and I can be commissioned for specific pieces. All my works are one of a kind!
How long do you take to finish a work of art?
It varies depending on the pieces, brief, size and other factors. If it’s less complex, I would be able to do two to three artworks in a month.
Tell us about your work of art in Macau.
It’s a little bit about the city as a whole. Macau spaces are not as dense as Hong Kong. I feature my favorite buildings while also combining the contrast of old Macau and modern casinos and hotels. I was trying to find an image in my mind based on my principles and eventually, I painted according to my experience. There are a lot of elements like the plazas, old houses and views from a certain distance that will hopefully enthrall spectators.
What is the goal of your artwork?
First of all, I tell the stories for myself and return to the memory and feeling that I truly enjoy. When I find people who share the same sentiments as I do, of course that’s even more gratifying. If you can see your story in my painting that’s what an artist aims to capture. I have created 344 artworks since I arrived in Hong Kong and my aim is to keep every piece unique in a certain way.
Is there any place you want to go to capture a place?
I particularly love Busan in South Korea but I would love to go somewhere in South America. Of course, India fascinates me very much.
Colors of Asia: Painting by Francesco Lietti is available on Amazon. The book is inspired by Francesco’s jaunts in Asia while creating a visual story of people, landscapes, and cityscapes. The book is priced at HKD $295. Follow his Instagram page at @francescolietti and website for updates.
Francesco Lietti has been living in Hong Kong since early 2006 and his love of this vibrant, eclectic city is immediately apparent in his works. His work is derived from the mnemonic imagery of the artist, who lives in symbiosis with the themes of travel and discovery. Add his work of art to your creative journey around Macau.
When: May 27–September 22, 2019
Where: Taipa Houses – Exhibition Gallery
For more details, visit www.francescolietti.com