Enjoy the rich portfolio of artist Caroline Young, who uses lyrical brushwork to create art that blends culture and stories. Visit her website for more from this artist.
As an adopted child of ex-pat American Chinese parents, I grew up in Hong Kong hearing stories from Chinese history and mythology.
My parents impressed upon me the importance of knowing my cultural heritage, as well as respecting the traditions of the past.
As such, I use the millenia-old traditional technique of Chinese brush painting on silk, the gongbi (“working brush”) genre of figure painting, wherein multiple layers of light washes are laboriously applied to shade and highlight shape and form, and to build up the intensity of colors.
An 18 inch by 24 inch painting normally takes 4-6 weeks to complete, working 8 to 10 hours a day, 6 days a week.
I use mostly Chinese and Japanese watercolors (some made from crushed minerals like lapis lazuli, malachite and cinnabar), some gouache and some acrylics. I work mainly on Japanese silk, but I also paint on rice paper. Symbolism plays an important role in my work.
Through my art, I hope to share Chinese history and mythology with others, to bridge the cultural divide between East and West. It is also my wish to help American parents with adopted Chinese children teach them about their cultural heritage and not forget from where they came.
In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, there should be a place in our lives for simple reflection and love of a good story.