Hollywood actress Lucy Liu spent years showcasing her art under a pseudonym because she was scared her onscreen reputation would "taint" her side project.

The star is an enthusiastic experimental artist and has been exhibiting her work since 1993 under the name Yu Ling, but she has now gone public with a display in London under her real name.  

Liu admits she kept her work secret for such a long time because she didn't want art fans to be influenced by her acting roles, which have included feisty Ling Woo in TV show Ally McBeal and a deadly assassin in the Kill Bill movies.

She tells Britain's ES Magazine, "I thought I would let people see the art without knowing I was the same person who they saw chopping people's heads off. Because that can taint a person, you know? I thought it was time to take the bulletproof vest off."

"I always thought, 'If people think I'm a b**ch, that's fine for Ally McBeal or for chopping people's heads off or whatever'. It's easy to let people believe you are what you represent. But it's harder to show people who you really are."

"At first I was afraid of allowing people in who are not close friends and family. But then I realized people are always making judgments about what I'm wearing or who I'm with, so why not allow them to see something that's a real part of me? It's a really big ripping-the-Band-Aid-off moment for me."

Liu's Seventy Two exhibition will run at London's Salon Vert gallery until October 22nd.