In Malta we are lucky enough to be enough to be surrounded by crystal-clear waters that slimmer in the sunlight. And never do these water look more inviting than when the temperature climb steadily into the thirties and we are left sweltering on land.

The sea is a signifier that adapts to the beholderís consciousness, and as we are completely encircled by it, most local artists cannot help but include the beauty, or the mystery, or water in their work.

Taiwan-born artist Jason Lu is one such craftsman. Since he had always dreams of living by the sea and leaving his big city memories of pervious locations around the world far behind him, once arrived in Malta in 2002, he made the tiny fishing village of Marsascala in the South his home. Yet his influences stem inextricably from a life of travelling between Asia, the United States and most recently Europe. So do his techniques and ideas, which he as picked up along the way.

Today, Lu finds that Malta inspires him and now uses all the elements gathered through his studies and journeys to create a melee of very different pieces, from sculpture to landscapes. It is the latter category that best showcases his relationship with the sea and it is evident though his methods and finished works that to him the sea is wholly positive: it represent a sense of freedom from the high-rise lifestyle he was previously accustomed to. Now the sea features widely in his works and anything related to it is evidently a source of love and pleasure for him; painted with intuitiveness and delicacy through purist watercolour techniques which he paints onto Chinese paper.

One example is his water entitled ëBoat from Marsaxlokkí which features a Maltese luzzu (fishing boat) bobbling on the calm waters of this tiny harbour. He uses bright and soothing colours to highlight the quasi-maternal element of the sea, emphasizing the boat in pretty hues and intricate details while fleshing the texture of the sea through the reflections that feature in. Noticeably, the buildings and life on land fade nonchalantly into the horizon. The sea, for Lu, takes precedent over everything.

In another of his works, ëFort Angelo ñ Three Cities,î Luís respect of the sea is equally evident as it seems to encompass the whole of this region and blends in with the sky to form one powerful entity as the buildings on land, although detailed, pale in comparison.