Mr. MingLiang Lu made a surprise visit to tea with us. He humbly introduced himself as an “art teacher.” After a few rounds of tea, he produced some small sheets of black paper and a pair of scissors and began cutting. Within minutes, a detailed image of Kyle’s face emerged.

He mounted it with two small pieces of tape onto beautiful paper bearing his chop. I wondered at first why he seemingly put so much care into the cutting and the mounting seemed so simple. Upon closer examination, I realized that the crease down the middle and the very gentle mount allow the work to rise up from the page and give the portrait depth.

He even made my portrait while I continued to brew tea.

Ming currently has works on exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Photos by Benito.