Thai artist Tawan Wattuya’s expressive watercolor paintings that depict social order

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.

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Beijing artist Shen Liang weaves the past and the present, tradition and daily life, history and memory through his works

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.

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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.

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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”.

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山水也霓虹 Neon Landscapes

The pieces collected here are currently exhibited at Lin & Lin Gallery in Taipei.

Beijing artist Wang Yu Ping’s watercolor paintings of old books 北京藝術家王玉平舊書的水彩畫作

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.

我喜歡書,尤其是舊書,舊書的舊書味、以及泛黃翻爛的頁面都帶給我一種在國外看到老朋友或是經過多後年再重新翻看同一本書的感覺,所以看到王玉平以其好友北京中央美術學院文學院院長收藏的愛書為主題所畫出的水彩畫,讓我忍不住看每幅畫。這些舊書的水彩畫讓我聯想書可以當作我們人生中不同階段的記錄。藝術家把舊書真實地畫出來泛黃色的色調、斑駁的書背、翻爛的頁面,好像每本書具有自己的個性。

這些作品正在台北的誠品畫廊展出。

更多了解藝術家的作品,請參考畫廊的網站

wang yu ping 2wang yu ping 3Wang Yu ping

Photos courtesy of Eslite Gallery