The luminous watercolors of Josie Mengai combine brilliant pigment with a sharpness of line and level of detail not often seen in that medium. Inspired by nature and her travels, Mengai paints flora, fauna, animals, and beach scenes, focusing particularly on water reflections and expertly capturing the spirit of places she’s seen first-hand. One of those locations is the Amazon Rainforest, which is dear to Mengai’s heart, having lived there for a time. In addition to landscapes, some of Mengai's most striking pieces include images of tigers, which Mengai favors because she was born in the Chinese Year of the Tiger. Although nearly photorealistic in their representation, what really makes Mengai’s pieces stand out is the symphony of color and masterful understanding of light that give her paintings, even in reproduction, something close to the appearance of stained glass.
Mengai was born in Hong Kong, but grew up and currently lives in Brazil, where her work has won numerous awards, including the silver medal in the 2005 IX Fine Arts Exhibition in Serra Negra, São Paulo.