October 25th, 2011
05:33 PM ET
Lucy Liu is well-known for her roles in Hollywood, but fans may not know that she's been creating other types of art for years.
The actress has a new book titled "Lucy Liu: Seventy Two" which features her black and white paintings. She said she was inspired by a chart containing a graph of Aramaic letters and her fascination with how the energy of those letters could create something.
"Each square of the chart has a significance which relates to the meditation of prosperity, healing , unity, things like that," she said. "As an art book you can flip through it and then if you want to go deeper, you can go in the back and for each painting there's a meditation and you can read that as well."
Liu wrote the meditations herself, which may surprise some fans who don't know her history of both creativity and knowledge of Eastern philosophy.
She said she started being more creative at the age of 13, doing collages before moving on to photography and eventually painting and sculpting. Her art can incorporate anything, including items she may find on the streets of New York City.
"I think it's always really fascinating," Liu said. "It shows a little bit of history of that area. If there was a party down the street, you see old balloons, pieces of a party favor, stuff like that."
Liu, who has a showing of her work right now in London, said writing the meditations for her book were challenging, as she didn't want to come off as "didactic or someone who knows it all." She said she knows many people who consider themselves more "spiritual" and "religious" and who are active with prayer or meditation.
"There is actually something quite incredible about someone who believes something and can actually manifest that in their lives," Liu said.
The actress is now in Los Angeles, where she will be joining the fourth season of the TNT police series "Southland." No matter where her acting career takes her, Liu is sure to continue her passion for creating.
"Art is just an ability to work through the struggle, it's never a finished product," she said. "I think the beauty of that is that you are on a constant journey."
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