Science - September 9, 2004

Chinese art on show in library

‘I never really thought about an exhibition in Wageningen, but I’ve already sold two paintings,’ says Wang Ying (right on photo). Her paintings, together with paintings by Wang Min (left), are on show in the public library for the whole of September.

The walls have been livened up with brightly coloured paintings of chubby children, a naked woman, flowers and birds, and paper cuttings. The main difference in the work of the two women is that Wang Ying focuses on people (she also paints portraits) and Wang Min on nature, beautiful ink paintings of flowers and birds with fine brushwork.

The colourful paintings hanging near the stairs are New Year posters made by Wang Ying. Her friend explains that the paintings are symbols of a good life. These were very popular when living conditions in China were worse. ‘People used them to decorate their houses. When China opened up and living standards improved they started to disappear. They are not painted any more, so I think they should become collectors’ items.’ Wang Min made the New Year posters while she was still living in China. ‘I took them to America when we moved there, and now there are with us here in Holland. I look after them as though they were my babies.’ Wang Min came to Wageningen five years ago when her husband got a job at Plant Research International.

Wang Ying worked as an art editor in China and also illustrated children’s books. The two women met about three years ago at a party in Wageningen. Wang Ying finished a master’s in Leisure and Environments last year, having majored in graphic design in China. She is still here while her husband completes a PhD at the laboratory of plant breeding.

As friends the two encourage each other to continue their artistic work, but both regret the lack of time they have for painting. They have children to take care of, and both husbands work long hours. Wang Min: ‘We are busy with our families, and you have to set time aside to be able to concentrate on painting.’

The exhibition is open during library opening hours, bblthk, Stationsstraat 2.
In October the exhibition will move to the Wageningen UR head office. /YdH