Resonating the past
  Resource:Global Times   2010-07-23 14:33:26  

Five years ago Boston's Museum of Fine Arts invited Yu and a group of Chinese artists to recreate traditional Chinese paintings for a permanent collection. Yu said she drew on the feeling she got from a famous Tang Dynasty (618-907) painting that was perfectly recreated by Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It was then that started her series of paintings based on classic works.

Yu's current exhibition sees one work inspired by a work by Spanish romantic painter Francisco Goya, another by a 17th-century fresco in Bologna, Italy and two by murals in Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, Gansu Province and Thousand Buddha Grottoes in Kizil, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

With composition and general appearances similar to those of the original classic paintings, Yu has carefully added people that she photographed randomly in the streets or at other occasions in her life.

"Society is made up of thousands of men and women that I photographed and painted here," Yu explained. "They are living their own lives, but no one can escape from the blindness of life."

In Yu's eyes, although everything in the modern world is changing so fast that you can even hardly catch up to it, there is something eternal for human beings, something deeply rooted in everyone's heart, such as love and hate.

"We are used to saying that everything is different from the past, but no, to some extent, we are what we were and will be what we are," Yu said. "What has changed is just the outside material world."

Despite the speed of modern day life, Yu herself has never tried to keep pace. Widely known in the Chinese art world are not only her perfect painting skills and vast imagination, but also her meticulous attention to detail and need to do everything gradually, despite a growing demand for her work.

"I just have to paint slowly, to make myself satisfied with every stroke," Yu said. "I do think I need to paint for my own happiness, not for the market or anyone else."

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