Shuai Ying


Q;Let’s start at the beginning. We know that painting has been a big part of your life since an early age, it seems you’ve always had a very creative mind. How does this outlook influence your everyday life? Are you always looking at things to influence your next piece? Where do you find your inspiration from?

 A;From the time I started to get in touch with painting and know some knowledge, to the gradual deepening of my understanding of art, it made me go from a simple, emotional life to a rational state, and I would always see and understand things from some special angles - what I thought was beautiful before may in fact be ugly, a thing I thought was right before is now I always see and understand things from a particular perspective - what I thought was beautiful before may in fact be ugly, what I thought was right before may now be wrong, appearances and reality may be complicated and indistinguishable, and everything is open to doubt.

I never stop looking for the inspiration for my next piece, and I have fun doing so. My inspiration comes from all directions: I get a lot of inspiration from nature and daily life, I care about what my contemporaries are doing, I get inspiration from other people's works, reading articles also has its benefits, and I most like to go chatting and discussing with fellow artists and friends, which brings the collision of ideas and stimulates creativity, as well as getting a lot of nutrition from the Internet easily and quickly, etc.

Q:Your artworks are beautifully mesmerising; mixing abstraction with familiar natural forms. We heard that you use a technique called ‘Ink Pond Painting’. Could you tell us a little more about that and how you found this way of working?

 A:My technique comes from the ink pool method, which is one of the traditional Chinese ink painting techniques. The ink pond method originated in the Tang Dynasty of China and belongs to a folk craft, which was first used to make the texture of Xuan paper, which was originally an auxiliary painting technique, but I took it as the main method of painting, and after more than ten years of intensive research and experimental exploration, I creatively integrated it into comprehensive materials, compatible with various painting techniques, and raised it to the height of artistic expression with contemporary art concepts, visual expression and superior control skills, thus The artist has established his own unique artistic language.

Adopting this creative approach is a natural process, I think, due to family reasons - my father was an art teacher, both an art lover and a craftsman, and I have been exposed to a lot of craft making since I was a child, such as bamboo weaving, glass craft, cotton painting, and painting auspicious patterns on old furniture with paint, etc. This has made me familiar with the use of various materials and processes in painting, and I have been consciously searching for different painting methods, and gradually formed my current creative style through continuous experimentation and exploration.

Q:We think that the way you merge the aesthetics of Eastern and Western culture is super interesting! It’s been described as work that “combines the passionate and dynamic western impression with the warm and subtle oriental charm.” Can you describe your relationship with these Eastern and Western influences in your art?

A:Indeed, my creations have an oriental ink and wash gene and a certain ethnicity. My works do not have a strong sense of three-dimensionality, similar to traditional Chinese landscape painting, a state between two-dimensional and three-dimensional, focusing on reflecting the mood and intuition of the picture, which is not quite the same as the emphasis on shape in Western classical painting. I am more daring in the use of color and form, and the picture is full of flowing motion, showing a modern and abstract appearance. In the era of globalization, I think the line between Eastern and Western art is getting blurred, but it is undeniable that I also like many Western artists, such as Richter and Hockney, who are very creative in their painting language, and I am somewhat influenced by them. 

Q:The colours you use in your works are so striking! We love the rich blues of your ‘Flowery Year’ series and how they’ve now started to transition to vibrant shades of red. How do you decide on the colours for each series?


A: I love blue, my personal favorite color. It is full of mystery, the hue of the sky and the sea, which inspires my curiosity and leads me to explore. But the sky has sun, moon and stars, and the earth has spring, summer, autumn and winter, each color is so beautiful that I can't let go of it, so I also try to use another color to express, for example, red - which usually represents a warm, spirited personality - and all possible other shades, so that the color itself has the uniqueness to express different spirituality and make the work to present a richer feeling.