Asian Canadian artists exhibit works

Esmie Gayo McLaren’s “Just Breathe” collection is a conglomeration of images of home and travel. (Provided)

Vancouver, B.C.

Press Release

Celia Leung, Esmie Gayo McLaren: “Just Breathe” Art Exhibition April 8, 2019- Scenes, Sounds, and Scents in Romantic Watercolours

Dates: May 1 – 31, 2019
Reception: May 4, 2 – 4 pm
Location: Jeunesse Gallery of Fine Arts, 2668 West 4th Ave., Vancouver, BC, V6K 1P7

“Listen to the Waves” “The Lady and the Lamps”Celia Leung Esmie Gayo McLaren

Asian Canadian artists Celia Leung and Esmie Gayo McLaren present nurture and nature through romantic watercolours in a fusion of Eastern and Western styles.

Jeunesse Gallery of Fine Arts in Vancouver’s Kitsilano will be awash with empowering images of global and local landscapes and scenes of idyllic life, from May 1 – 31. Encouraging viewers to perceive with all their senses and linger in delightful moments, artists Celia Leung and Esmie Gayo McLaren offer their nurturing collection as respite from current trends of egocentricity, negativity, and burnout.

In her suite of Chinese watercolour paintings, Celia Leung depicts scenes of idyllic life in nature. From deer strolling among the Stanley Park totems to orcas teaching their young, she captures the essence of her subjects and paints them using a combination of traditional gongbi and xieyi techniques. A mother of a toddler, she perceives caring relationships in the animal subjects and portrays them with painterly sensitivity.Leung’s Westcoast sceneries encourage viewers to leave stress behind and revel in the quiet, fresh air of our BC coast and beyond.

Esmie Gayo McLaren’s “Just Breathe” collection is a conglomeration of images of home and travel. From ahummingbird’s nest among camelia blooms to a jazzy New York City moment, her sensitive brushwork romantically interprets the richness of life and resilience of human spirit. Her emotive use of brightly-blended colours suggest a warm appreciation for both environmental and human subjects, inviting viewers to contemplate on their own memories and stories.

“Just Breathe” is the first duo exhibit by Leung and McLaren, but have shown artworks and served together as organizers in Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society’s Generation One group of artists. They not only share the love of art, family, and nature, but also hold important the richness of connecting communities and inspiring positivity through art.

Supporting “Just Breathe” Art Exhibit are Jeunesse Gallery of Fine Arts, Pacific Canada Heritage CentreMuseum of Migration Society, and Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society explorASIAN festival.

For more information: (604) 737-2438 Krassi Stamenov (Jeunesse Gallery of Fine Arts) (Just Breathe Art Reception And Exhibit)



Celia Leung is a Chinese-Canadian immigrated from Hong Kong. She enhanced her Chinese painting, calligraphy, and seal craving skill through the mentoring and teaching of Yukman Lai. Chinese art permeates her life bringing relaxation and conversations. In 2007, Celia graduated as an Economics major from the University of British Columbia and attained her CFP® designation in 2017. Although Celia pursued a career in finance, it does not hinder her passion for art. In year 2010, she had a joint exhibition with her siblings called, “Sharpening Artistic And Literary Skills” at UBC Asian Centre Auditorium. A book of the same title was also published to record such a remarkable milestone presented by the Leung siblings as UBC alumni and highlighting their youth accomplishments in all three major Chinese scholarly arts. Celia is a permanent member of Chinese Canadian Artists Federation (CCAF) since 2003. She began teaching her first adult painting class at Chinese Mental Wellness Community Centre with joy in 2016. With her enthusiasm in art, she continued to participate in CCAF members’ exhibition in 2016, 2017. Celia loves to see her calligraphy, paintings, and stone-seals appreciated by her friends, students and audience. Another milestone of her artistic journey is when her painting was chosen as BC Children’s Hospital for Children We Care gala 2018 invitation card. “These traditional artworks will mark the time” is a motto shared by her teacher Yukman Lai, encouraging her that her artwork will mark the time for her artistic journey. As a new mother of a 18-month old boy, Celia loves to depict inspirations of family bonding and appreciation of natural sceneries through her paintings.

For more of her artwork, please visit or get her latest updates on instagram

Esmie Gayo McLaren is a Filipino-Canadian visual artist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Using oil or watercolour, McLaren paints scenes of everyday life through an emotive use of color and light. She received her BSc in Biology and Psychology from the University of Alberta and received artistic training through Emily Carr University, Mandy Boursicot Classical Atelier, and Gerry Thompson Studios. McLaren has garnered various art awards such as Best Work on Paper, Best of Show, and Excellence in Figurative Work. She is a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Society of Philippine American Artists, and the International Watercolor Society, and is a liaison for Pacific Canada Heritage Centre Museum of Migration Society. Her recent group exhibits include CityScape Community Art Space in North Vancouver, Roundhouse Exhibition Hall in Vancouver, and the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa. She held her first solo show outside Canada in New York City in 2018. In addition to her artistic practice, McLaren is passionate about connecting communities,women’s/children’s issues, gardening, and travel.

Esmie Gayo McLaren is represented by Jeunesse Gallery of Fine Arts in Vancouver, Canada. Her work can be found online: and

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