I love books. Especially old books. The smell, the yellowed dog-eared pages give a sensation that is equal to seeing an old friend in a foreign city or rereading a book after years of reading it for the first time. So when I saw Wang Yu Ping’s watercolor paintings of books taken from his own bookshelf and from the collection of his friend Yin Jinan, Dean of the Humanities Department, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, I can’t help but take a look at each painting (even though I have no idea what most of the books are all about since they are all in Chinese!). Seeing the watercolor paintings of these books remind me of how these fragile books chronicle the different phases in life as we go through it. Because of the artist’s realistic portrayal of these books, he was able to capture the nuances characteristic of old books–the varying shades of yellow, the spots, the spine with the cover almost flaking off, the dog-eared pages–as though each book adopts a personality of its own based on who read it, when it was read and how it was read.
The pieces collected here are part of an ongoing exhibition at Eslite Gallery in Taipei.
For more of his works, please visit the gallery’s website.
Photos courtesy of Eslite Gallery