Leland Greets the World — Susan Babcock
December 13, 2009
Leland Greets the World
“Hello, my name is Leland. It is nice to meet you,” he said as he greeted me enthusiastically, while at the same time shaking my hand. This was my first introduction to Leland Lee, an extraordinary and gifted young artist from Taiwan who is living with autism.
Leland and I meet weekly to work on English lessons, together. Our ‘classroom’ is on the third floor of Astoria, his grandparent’s well-established bakery and coffee shop, in a historic downtown district of Taipei.
Hanging on the walls of our ‘classroom’ are Leland’s paintings. Each one is a kaleidoscope of breathtaking vibrant colors and impressionistic images or illusions brought forth to canvas from Leland’s interpretation of the world and his role in it. All are quite dazzling to the eye.
However, what holds great significance for me, is the genuine, undisguised purity of his work. His paintings are joyful and their messages often playful. His work reflects a sincerity and innocence of spirit, while the composition is highly sophisticated, using an experiential fusion concept to intertwine artistic and cultural forms from the past and present into his works.
Leland is clearly receiving his inspiration from a source far greater than my humble understanding of this world and he is inviting us to take time to see into his world of autism, through his paintings.
Leland, it has been my pleasure to meet you. Thank you for sharing so much of your world with me.
Suzan P. Babcock
National Taiwan Normal University
Department of English Senior Lecturer and
Communication Specialist for the Ministry of Education