Tawan Wattuya is inspired by social events that evoke a sense of order, such as weddings, political events and beauty pageants. While staying in an artist village in China, Wattuya saw a military parade and the historical terracotta army. This provides a perfect addition to his body of watercolor works that depict a sense of social order. It is interesting to note that the softness of the medium such as the watercolor stands in sharp contrast to the rigidity of the structure of his subjects.
The pieces collected here are part of a group exhibition titled A Journey Far From Home at Galerie Nichido in Taipei. The show runs from 1 July to 16 September.
Shen Liang thrives in old things and things that contain history in them.
In State Banquet and Civilian Food, Shen Liang was inspired by the treats like biscuits and sweets his mother would bring home from work hidden in her handkerchief. The name of the treat, price, and ingredients were painted on the handkerchief with watercolor.
For the artist, it wasn’t easy to look for old and yellowed papers to use so he painted landscapes and women from an ancient era on the covers of the old books he collected. We can see here the artist’s love for history and memory and we can easily feel the the traditional charm found in these old books and the subjects on the covers.
Through this series Neon Landscapes, the artist tackles the interaction of tradition and daily life. The artist weaved a thread of neon lights onto the duplicate of Chinese scroll painting on the left. On top, there’s a Chinese character 串 which means “string” or “to string together”. On the right, the artist painted the eyes of the characters (the same as the ones on the left) black to suggest some kind of censorship. He also added a woman whose mouth is gagged and arms bound. On top of the scroll painting, it says 不雅 which means “disgraceful” or “vulgar”.
山水也霓虹 Neon Landscapes
The pieces collected here are currently exhibited at Lin & Lin Gallery in Taipei.
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