Artwork Panel: 22.4cm x 88.8cm ≈ 8¾" x 35"
Silk/Brocade: 31.5cm x 144.5cm ≈ 12½" x 56¾"
Width at Wooden Knobs: 40.5cm ≈ 16"
Close up view of the plum blossom artwork mounted to this silk brocade wall scroll
A great traditional handmade wall scroll.
This is a beautiful and traditional black ink plum blossom painting. The title roughly translates as "Blooming Plum-Blossom, the Good Fortune Flower Brings Fragrance". The artist's signature and red chop follow the title.
This was painted on xuan paper (rice paper). The artist used a combination of black Chinese ink and watercolor paints mixed with water and alcohol to create various shades.
I then took the painting with me back to our studio in Beijing where our master-scroll-maker mounted it to a high-quality silk wall scroll.
Yang De-Wen puts the final touches on his work.
I met this artist, in the middle of a 4000+ mile trip across Asia that started in South Korea, went through a wintertime Inner Mongolia, and throughout Southern China.
Cat was desperate to get out of the cold Beijing Winter, and gladly joins me en-route to Inner Mongolia, which is actually much colder than Beijing but she knows the trip will soon head south to warmer climates.
Trains in this region take days to go from Inner Mongolia to Southern China, so there are a lot of stops along the way. About 30 hours cooped up in a Chinese "K-Train" is all that I can stand, so every 15-30 hours, we get off the train and go exploring the nearest town, wherever the train happens to stop in the morning. Days later, we get back on another train and do it all over again.
After 10 days of this, the train stops in Chengdu, a good-sized city in the Sichuan Province of China. This is my third time to visit Chengdu city, and it has a large artistic community that seems to grow every time I return.
After visiting my old artist friends in Chengdu and buying up every painting that caught my eye, we head out to find artists that I may have missed before.
Many artists have opened little studios since my last visit. One of those studios belongs to Yang De-Wen.
Arriving at the doorway of the studio, I see a great collection of plum blossoms, bamboo, chrysanthemum, and Orchid artwork inside. As my eye follows the artwork on the wall around the room, my attention is interrupted as I notice a little girl standing and smiling at me. Next to her I see a little boy who is dead-asleep face-down on top of a table with his legs dangling off the edge. The little boy's pants are well on their way to falling down. It is one of those weird moments: Surrounded by beautiful art, and greeted by the smile of a cute little girl, while also being "mooned" as the little boy loses his pants completely in his slumber.
Young granddaughter watches her
grandfather's careful and meticulous work.
Just then an older woman welcomes me to take a closer look at the art as the girl attempts to pull the little boy's pants back up. As I begin to take a look at the art, the little girl pushes the boy all the way onto the table to finish his nap.
I ask who the artist is, am told by the lady, "ta shi wo de ai-ren" (he is my husband - or literally "my loved one"). She quickly hands me a brochure that tells of the artist's exploits...
Yang De-Wen was born in 1947 in Chong Qing (Chung King) and has spent the last 30+ years as a professional artist.
After attending the Sichuan College of Arts, and learning all that he could from his professors, he went on to develop his artistic talents, abilities, and style.
He believes that nature has rhythm and he tries with every brush stroke to capture the verve and vitality of nature.
(This is what Cat and I translated from the artist's brochure).
The artist with his wife and grandchildren.
Cat and I are the ones in the middle.
As Cat reads the brochure out loud to me (my Chinese reading ability is only so-so), the artist himself walks in, as Cat finishes, and says in response, "I feel that nature is often asymmetrical but at the same time, nature is balanced, that is what I hope you will find in my paintings".
We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries and introductions. The his wife tells me that the little boy and girl are their grandchildren, and they take care of them during the day while the parents are at work.
I explain what I do selling art all over the world on the internet. We have a long conversation about customers and the business, and what kind of artwork people enjoy, and why.
After that, he shows me a stack of new paintings that he's been working on for the last few weeks. I pick out many that I like, and he offers to paint more for me, if I can just stay a week or so in Chengdu. I change my plans (not that I actually had a plan) and agree to stay for several days. I know it will be worth it for the quality of art that this man can produce.
Returning all those days later I find that he has indeed created several more paintings for me.
We say our good byes with a promise to come again next time I come to Chengdu.