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Calvin Lai

 United States

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About Calvin Lai

Calvin Lai's art is a mixture of medicine, meditation, and personal growth. He found early on that drawing was something he loved, and to make a picture appear lifelike became his goal.

Through constantly drawing, Calvin’s work began to breath, and his fascination with value and perspective led him to become a student of realism. Eventually, he moved from where he grew up in Los Angeles to San Francisco. There he studied drawing and printmaking at San Francisco State University. In 2008, he enrolled in the Academy of Art for illustration, but began painting instead. He found that he preferred the fine arts over commercial illustration, and now works as a full time oil painter.

Since then he has continued to develop and refine his oil painting skills. Lai’s work has been shown nationally in galleries, group exhibitions and juried shows. He has executed a large number of commissioned portraits over the past several years, and his paintings have appeared in national and international publications. Throughout his career, Calvin Lai has expanded his focus from figurative and portraiture to encompass a variety of subjects such as still lifes to the San Francisco cityscape. Now he has no borders to what he chooses to paint, and he is driven to capture everything around him through his paints, brushes, and determination. 

"I collect moments. If you look through my collection you'll see paintings of people I've met, places I've been, and things I've seen. As an artist with roots in classical realism, it's important for me to paint moments realistically. But solely painting realism feels incomplete, and it can become a bit too academic for me. It's not only about the visual recreation that is crucial in my work. Instilling a sensation within my pieces holds an equal amount of relevance. I want to make my audience feel that they are walking down a rainy street, climbing up a sun drenched hill, or sitting in front of a loved one. I want a viewer to feel the moments I collect."


2015         Solo
        Divergent Tendencies, 625 Sutter Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2014         Solo        Art Murmur, Awaken Cafe, Oakland, CA

2012         Solo        The Pour House, San Francisco, CA

2017         Group     Cats Vs. Dogs, The Vendue, Charleston SC
         Group     Art Auction, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento CA
         Group     Urbana Contra Naturaleza, Wonderland SF, San Francisco, CA

2017         Group     In Dreams, Spoke NYC, New York, NY
2017         Group
     Lover's Eye, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2016         Group     The Best of America, National Oil & Painters' Acrylic Society, Addison Art Gallery, Orleans, MA

2016         Group     Fall Gallery Night, Art Room, exhibited at Brik, Fort Worth, TX          
2016         Group     Anniversary Show, Wonderland SF, San Francisco, CA
2016         Group     Portraits of Friends, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2016         Group     Art Auction, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA

2015         Group     Wes Anderson Art Show, Spoke Art, exhibited at Joseph Gross Gallery, New York, NY

2015         Group     Never, Never, Ever Land, Wonderland SF, San Francisco, CA
         Group     Portraits of Strangers, Someones, and Nobodies, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2013         Group     Wanderlust, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CA
         Group     Chillin' Productions Annual Holiday Show, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2013         Group     The Seven Deadly Sins, Wonderland SF, San Francisco, CA
         Group     SmithKlein Gallery, Boulder, CO
         Group     ODC Theater, San Francisco, CA

2012         Group     Notorious, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CA
         Group     Art Matters Encore! San Marino League, San Marino, CA

2011         Group     Character, Million Fishes Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2011         Group     Academy of Art Spring Show, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA

2010         Group     Faces and Figures, Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, CA 


The Gallery For Quality Art

A:  Rm 2003, Keen Hung Commercial Bldg 

     80 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai,

     Hong Kong  (By Appointment Only)                     

T:   +852 2561 5342


Monday - Friday:   10:00 - 17:00

Closed on Weekend and Public Holidays

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