Troy Gua has an oft-heartbreaking, yet inspired, essentialist way of stripping things down to the visual basics, capturing the ensorcelling traces of everyday faces, exotic places and pop icons in his paintings. His recent foray into landscapes proves the point.

“This piece is a rumination on climate change, using the Cascades as the setting in a future where the mountain peaks wear no snow, but instead swim in water,” says Gua. “Having just binged some awe-inspiring BBC nature documentaries, I decided I wanted to experiment with landscape and pay homage to the serene and idyllic landscapes of traditional Japanese woodblock prints and masters like Hokusai and Hiroshige. As I began designing and revising the images, the palette exploded into technicolor, and I began to imagine these scenes as futuristic utopias, which then took on an apocalyptic bent betraying where my mind was regarding our planet.”

Gua’s Immaculate Disaster Series is on view at Seattle Art Museum’s Taste restaurant through Nov. 9.