Dong Shaw-hwei’s landscape paintings are all developed by the brightly-painted style of Impressionism. Therefore, the artist's early still life style is also based on the impressionist light and shadow, the picture is full of bright colors and light, with a warm tone. In the late 1990s, Shaw-Hwei has worked with still life imagery imbued with her subjectively mental state of being. A peaceful night atmosphere was presented into her work, which is rife with connotations and interpretive extensions. The backgrounds and locations of her subjects showed variance in arrangement and compositional movement. After ‘99, Shaw-Hwei started her still life series called ‘Black Table’. She used pronounced amounts of indoor light on subjects including fruits, vessels, tables and chairs depicted indoors, under cover of night. The relationship between structure, perspective and background exceeds the misleading simple organization of these scenes, and aims to express a more spiritual subjectivity.
The artist’s “still life” series can be said to be the extension of the Courtyard series. The residence interior of the quiet garden was furnished with simple chairs and tables, vases, bowls, cups, glassware, books, as well as picked seasonal flowers. All of these signify a comfortable and tranquil mood, and are not only part of the artist’s normal life, but also a preservation of her belief in simplicity. The creation of numerous still life paintings beginning in 1995 continued the vibrant and moving display of color of impressionism, while also integrating the personal expression of emotion and feeling of an ordinary life. They display the many hues and tones of the play of light and shadow indoors, and the interwoven cycle of day and night captures on the canvas.