Wk 3- Artist Conversation- Manyu Gao

Artist: Manyu Gao

Exhibition: Concentrated Studies in Life Painting

Media: Oil Painting

Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery West

Instagram: @manyugao

About the Artist

Manyu Gao is a current CSULB 49er from China pursuing her undergraduate degree. This is her last semester as an undergraduate, and is currently looking for a graduate program. She wants to get her masters degree in Painting, as she is in the School of Arts, Drawing, and Painting program. This is her second year since her departure from home, and enjoys where she’s at right now.

Formal Analysis

The artist discussed her painting as an oil painting she painted for an upper division art class that took her a semester to do. The painting shows a women sitting alone eating at a fast food restaurant. Although the logo does not show, the food represents McDonald’s. The boxes in which the burgers and fries were placed looked identical to a McDonald’s box. The setting also looked very similar. She is sitting inside the restaurant with a view of a gas station, which looks much like an intersection in Los Angeles.

Content Analysis 

Manyu Gao states that the painting represents her and how she felt from her departure from home. She felt lonely, which the painting very much represents. It shows a women eating dinner alone. She decided to use McDonalds as the food to eat because it is very much Western like and is popular here in the West.


My first impression of the painting was not really much appealing to me. All I saw was a women eating food, but I did not realize several things. The story behind it, and what it really meant. After looking at it a few more times, I still was not sure what it represented until I officially spoke with the artist. After she explained what it was to me, I realized the bigger picture. The picture made much more sense to me, and I understood what the meaning of it was. After the explanation, it became so clear that I enjoyed just looking at it because it made me think as if I were able to relate to her experience of leaving home.


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