Artist’s Paintings Embrace Nostalgia SHU PENGQIAN

Artist’s Paintings Embrace Nostalgia SHU PENGQIAN

Ba Yaming never expected to be a professional painter. At first, he thought he would be a musician.

The artist had planned to major in music in college because singing was his hobby. However, when he trained for the College Entrance Examination, he found it too difficult to recite staves and distinguish melodies. Thus, Ba decided to study painting and in 2008 was admitted to the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts.

Ba likes romanticism, and his works center around nature and animals. He says his main aim is to express real emotion in his creations.

“I concentrate on how I can make the painting beautiful and express the feeling I want to express, without worrying whether the creatures that appear in my paintings are in accordance with the laws of nature or even exist in reality,” Ba said. “As long as the finished painting can express an aesthetic feeling, I will be satisfied.”

The series Dream in the Woodland suggests Ba adheres to this principle.

Pandas are the protagonists in this series. Several paintings feature a panda or a group pandas sitting in front of a fire. Other supernatural creatures or characters inspired by Japanese anime also appear. Real animals and imaginary creatures coexist in the paintings, giving Ba’s works a dreamy feel.

Initially, Ba wanted to paint pandas, but he realized panda paintings are too common. So he started thinking about how he could make his work stand out.

He decided to set his paintings against a nighttime background.











“The dark night – darkness – and the burning fire – light – create a sharp contrast,” he said.

Then he added anime characters and giant creatures to his Dream in the Woodlandseries. The anime characters stemmed from Ba’s nostalgia.

“I am always nostalgic,” he said. “These anime characters make up a large part of my childhood memories.”

Ba is inspired not only by his childhood memories. Right after graduation in 2012, he experienced a period of confusion. He wanted to create paintings that were different from what he had painted in college. He thought over and over but could not figure out how to carry on.

Inspiration sparked unexpectedly. One day, he saw a picture of a forest and thought: “How about painting forest? The forest should make viewers feel mysterious, spiritual, but not scared.” That’s how his series Elf in the Forest started.





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