Rabid, Wild & Docile Artist: Michael C. Hsiung

Sneak Peek of “On the bear’s uncontrollable urge to toss his master in the air”

We are super happy to have the work of bear artist and nominee for best mustache on the west coast, Michael C. Hsiung in Rabid, Wild & Docile! We spoke to him about his pieces in the show and why bears are always popping up in his work.

Where did the idea for this piece or pieces come from?
I never really have a distinct idea of what I’m going to make.  Usually it starts out with sketching and from those shapes, more interaction happens.  Sometimes a drawing sits around all month, until I figure out its “punchline” or “gag” as I like to call it.  But when the piece starts to form, all the details in clothing and so forth all come from my interests, whether its Dungeons & Dragons, anglo-saxon history or beer drinking.

Why do bear characters play a significant role in your work?
I’m not entirely sure why bear characters play a significant role in my work. . . when I started to draw them, it’s like they were characters in a story.  Sometimes I have characters that never get redrawn again or appear in anything else.  For some reason or other the bear always makes an appearance.

What is appealing to you about bears that make them appear in your work?
I’m not sure why bears are so appealing to me, but I like to think my subconscious made them appear in my work.  My last name “hsiung” actually means “bear” in Chinese.  Funny enough my dad used to have a hand painted address sign that said “Bear’s Cave” in front  of our house.

Thanks, Michael! And to all of you reading this, make sure to come out to the show opening on February 24th from 6-9pm!

Rabid, Wild & Docile: A collection of bear inspired artwork
February 24, 2012
6:00PM – 9:00PM
Exhibition runs until 03.25.12

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