Caroline Lee Liu

Submission from Chicago, Painter/Student


Caroline Liu is a painter and student originally from San Francisco currently living in Chicago for art school. She tends to find inspiration in good colors, scenery, film and friends.  She was inspired upon seeing camcorder videos her mom took from a vacation to Hawaii in 2000. Feeling nostalgic for older tech, she began taking camcorder videos as well, filming her daily life. She is also an avid reader, and is trying build a book collection of her own despite the difficulties and being young and traveling. She’s grown to appreciate the contrast in scenery and weather between the major west coast city and major midwest city, and they have made her appreciate city life so much more.




What kind of things inspire you to paint?

Scenery, staring at/through windows and just really good colors. I also watch a lot of films and TV, read and get excited about art things with friends.

How did you take up camcording?

My dad had recently digitized some VHS tapes from my childhood, so I got a chance to look at them on my laptop. I found these super cool videos my mom took in 2000 during a family vacation in Hawaii. Looking at landscape and memories through such a grainy lens got me thinking about nostalgia, and the place of old tech nowadays. So now I carry around a camcorder and film things like car rides, walks, dogs and friends. Sometimes I'm thinking about recording memories, but I'm mostly trying to notice more things.

We noticed you moved from the bay to the midwest when most people tend to migrate the opposite way. What made you do so?

I came here for school! I'm seeing a bunch of things I haven't seen before, like rain that falls in sheets and cornfields. The Bay and Chicago are very different places. I think I've grown to like living in a city even more than before by living here. You can't really beat being close to almost everything, plus there's a lake! Lake water is much cleaner than bay water. But yes, I often miss the weather and the views!

The vibe we get from your whole set seems full of nature, harmonious, calm. Would you say that is reminiscent of yourself?

I'd say I appreciate those vibes a lot and I wish I had more of them!

How did you come across Disposable?

My friend Jeremy (instagram: @jsububu) got me into using disposable cameras a year or two ago. I came across Disposable on Instagram!


What are your plans for this weekend?

Hike up at Point Reyes with the parents!


A song?

Some Kind of Nature (feat. Lou Reed) by Gorillaz.


Right or left handed?



What is the best dish you can cook?

Chicken soup.


What is your middle name?

Lee, my mom's maiden name.


What do you do in your free time?

Watch movies, knit, thrift, go out for ramen.


What inspires you?

Some good scenery.


What do you do for money?

Not much right now, focusing a lot on school.


What do you do for pleasure?



Your idea of happiness?

Very sunny, very clear day.


Your idea of misery?

A giant hole.


If not yourself, who would you be?

Probably my dog.


Your heroes?

My mom and Georgia O'Keeffe.


What is your present state of mind?

I recently started noticing the many palm trees in my area. I'm on break right now and spending time with my parents in the bay. It always looks a little different here each time I'm back!


Bedside table books?

I really like Albert Camus' The Stranger. When I was 10, I was given a copy of Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss, which I love. My roommate just lent me The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness. I recently lent Faith and the Good Thing by Charles Johnson to a friend. That's a terrific book.


What do you do if you can’t sleep at night?

Roll around and try to think of solutions.


Do you collect?

Trying to build up a book collection! It's hard when you're young and moving around, though.


Tea or coffee?

Tough one, but coffee.


What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

That people came from eggs.


A color?

Cad red.


A city?

San Francisco.