Home Magazine Yu Lanying at Boccara Art New York

When observing a Yu Lanying art piece, the first impact could remind of a zoom moving in and out on a Google Earth Map. Her paintings seem to move and evolve even when they are under observation. This is a peculiarity about the drawings and paintingsby the Taiwanese artist Yu Lanying.

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“I have used the techniques of dragging and splashing which are contemporary techniques. I deconstructed it and separated it into different parts, and then I deconstructed it again”.

These are just few of the words that this special painter used to explain her last solo show in March 2020 titled In search of lost ocean” at Boccara Art Manhattan, directed by Liubov Belousova. The exhibition focused on the underwater world with its landscape and coral is the main inspiration for Yu Lanying: it is underwater in fact that life could be seen even more “ephemeral”. This attitude, this approach towards reality is tangible in her style and gestures. 


Yu Lanying, The Ink Soul #1808, Ink and mixed media on paper, 2018. Boccara Art New York.


Yu Lanying has been painting since she was seven, practicing both painting and drawing. While living in the United States she used to work mainly with oil painting. Once she moved back to China, she started using Chinese ink, which has been her preferred technique for more than 20 years now.  

“When a painter paints a painting, she/he could only represent the state of her/his mind”. These imaginary worlds, all abstracts and fluids as the marina landscapes she actually catches from under the sea, express her will to approach reality in its different stratifications, delving deeper in the dimension of the subconscious and investigating some dynamics of nature.


Yu Lanying, The Whisper of the Ocean #1403, Ink and mixed media on paper, 2014. Boccara Art New York.


“The Ink Soul”, “The Deep”, “The Diving Ink”, “The Ink Soul”, “The Sinking Ink”, “The Ink Dao” are series of paintings where the familiarity and unpredictability are melted into microcosmos: her soft and fluid abstract ramifications emphasize how nature is the original source, to which we all are connected.

The mystery and elegance of Yu Lanying work have roots into Asian art and philosophies: soft colors and stratifications, light blues or dark greys, flying figures, fantastic waves and wrapping movements, landscapes, colors that melted together with shadows as in a great metamorphosis. In 2018, the ink technique - in particular the ancient technique of Asian ink wash painting - was legitimized and became popular in the United States thanks to exhibitions as “Portraits of Wonder” of the Chinese artist Hao Liang at Gagosian Gallery in New York. Here the combination between old technique and contemporary views marked a new step for American contemporary art audience. 


Yu Lanying, The Whisper of the Ocean #1405, Ink and mixed media on paper, 2014. Boccara Art New York.


The aesthetics of the ink technique with those details and symbols created by the paint brush guided by the artist hand finally represent a state of mind, a point of view in a unique way, as Yu Lanying claims too. That is the reason why her fluid and decisive energy will always be reached through constant work and experimentation drawing and painting. 


Discover more about Yu Lanying on Kooness.com


Cover image: Yu Lanying, The Ink Soul #1913, Ink and mixed media on paper, 2019. Boccara Art New York.

Written by Rossella Farinotti

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