Soothing ink paintings create quiet beauty

Writer: Cao Zhen  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2022-07-20

Chinese-American Yu Lanyin, who is in her 70s and has a deep fascination with the ocean, is exhibiting her ocean-themed ink paintings at the “Infinite Conscious Blue” exhibition at HQB Museum. Entry is free.

Yu, who has been a hobbyist scuba diver for more than 30 years, exhibits contemporary ink paintings focusing on the undersea world. Her paintings are abstract, creating a place of quiet beauty and leaving room for visitors to make their own interpretations.

A painting by Yu Lanyin. Photo from HQB Museum’s WeChat account

“Nothing is permanent,” said Yu in an earlier interview when she held an exhibition in Shenzhen in 2019. “That’s what I understood when I went ashore after scuba diving, because beautiful undersea scenes may change or disappear.”

Holding master’s degrees in art creation and art history from the University of Louisville, Yu said that oceans and meditation made her find inner peace and a clear understanding of her life. “The flow of water, the rippling sunlight and the swift corals which are partly hidden and partly visible among rocks give me inspiration, and Chinese ink paintings can best express my intention.”

“Water, which flows downwards, holds a low-profile character and moistens everything. So when we have difficulties or confusion, we should see through the appearance to perceive the essence. Nobody can tell you how you should live your life. You have to find your strong points and invest some time in self-reflection to find out life’s meaning,” said Yu.

A native of Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, Yu moved to Taiwan with her parents. She has studied painting with Huang Junbi, Gao Yihong, Fu Xinshe, Sun Duoci and Will Barnet. Yu believes that Chinse ink painting art, a carrier of Chinese culture and philosophy, is on a par with Western impressionism and abstract art in terms of expression. In her creation, she blends collage and rubbing in some of her ink paintings.

Art critic Robert Morgan once commented that “I was stunned by the loneliness expression in the light and shadows in Yu’s paintings and this void feeling triggers me to ponder who we are.”

Dates: Until Oct. 18

Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Mondays

Booking: WeChat account “HQB_Museum”

Venue: HQB Museum, 5/F, Modern Window Commercial Plaza, Futian District (福田区现代之窗商业广场五楼华强北博物馆)

Metro: Line 2 or 7 to Huaqiang North Station (华强北站), Exit E2