“I’m very excited to participate in the Graniti Murales Artist Residency Program. I have never been to Sicily and am greatly looking forward to spending a month in Graniti learning about its history, meeting the community, and creating something beautiful for everyone to enjoy. Without a doubt, this work is rooted in the Abstract Expressionist sensibilities that reside at the core of my inspiration as an artist… enlisting perspective, light, weight, gravity, and the fluid nature of the mediums to connect with the viewer and ignite the imagination. The mural shows the hills of Graniti, olive oil, wine and water… essential for Sicily.”
Richards work for Graniti Murales is a hymn to life and her cycles. Birth, growth and multiplication of nature, the green of olives, purple of wine, yellow of corn – lines that come from Mother Earth, that intertwine and grow, together with the knowledge of the farmers of Graniti, to then join the wonderful blue sea.
Richard Earl Leong Yu Ralya is a versatile artist who currently resides between Sicily and Hawaii, infusing his surroundings with his creative energy. His artworks have found homes in private collections across California, Hawaii, Istanbul, and Italy. Although born in New York, Richard was raised in rural Northern Virginia. It was during his time at the University of California, Berkeley, where he initially pursued engineering, that he discovered his true passion for art through his early art classes. This pivotal moment led him to switch his focus and earn a BFA in Painting from the esteemed San Francisco Art Institute.
Seeking to be closer to his family and nurture his creative practice, Richard relocated to Hawaii after completing his studies. However, in 2015, he embarked on a new adventure by moving to Istanbul, Turkey, where he aimed to center his life around creativity and art-making. Over the next two years, he immersed himself in extensive travels and was fortunate to participate in artist residencies in Istanbul and Sicily. This period proved transformative, allowing Richard to redefine his concept of a “studio” and expand his artistic expression beyond 2D mediums, such as painting and drawing.
In 2017, Richard settled in a quaint Sicilian town and assumed the role of Artistic Director for the non-profit association Art Project Graniti. Here, he dedicated himself to achieving creative independence and pursued artistic projects guided by intuition. Presently, Richard is engaged in a captivating series of work that encompasses video, photography, and original musical compositions. Additionally, he has been commissioned to create a large-scale art installation at an acclaimed wedding venue in Maine, USA.
Richard Earl Leong Yu Ralya’s artistic journey is characterized by his relentless pursuit of creative independence and his willingness to explore various artistic mediums. With each project, he pushes the boundaries of his artistic practice and continues to captivate audiences with his multidisciplinary approach.