Record Chengdu Via Painting

What will you do if you do something that you think makes sense every day?

Fang Yingying's insistence on creating "one painting per day" has piqued our interest. She has worked as an animator for four years, and now illustrates for scenes in games. The young illustrator has created numerous paintings based on scenes in her daily life in Chengdu. As of May 2018, she had completed 377 works. 


Fang Yingying

Before beginning the "one painting per day" project that has made her famous, Fang Yingying tried many hobbies: water color, oil painting and handcrafting, but never persisted.  In early 2017, when trying out a new iPad pencil, she casually painted a scene of having hotpot with friends. From then on, her "journey to record Chengdu in paintings" began quietly.

Now, except for the weekends, Fang Yingying spends her spare time painting after work every day, taking about 1-2 hours for each painting. The settings of the scenes in the paintings are usually related to her route to work and shopping. Therefore, "on the metro", "Software Park", and "Chunxi Road business district" are common backgrounds. The protagonists in the painting are vivid and detailed: There are young girls doing homework in the back seat of the bicycle in the morning, young women wearing the same-colored trench coat in the spring, and people with different expressions in the crowded metro carriages during the Food and Drinks Fair. 



Although paintings are static objects, many of Fang Yingying's paintings are extremely "dynamic": An old man releasing squid at the side of the Funan River, a small truck filled with bubbles hobbles along on the road... She states: "Although cameras and mobile phones are everywhere, they don't necessarily catch all of the details happening in the moment, so I envision and draw them." 


There are always beautiful landscapes for us to appreciate in Fang Yingying's paintings, such as the Jacaranda at Fantasia Future Plaza, the firmiana simplex at Maan Road, roses in Nanhu Park, the gardenia fields at Tianfu Park, and the plum blossoms at the Museum of Contemporary Art. It is like watching a "grand show for city flowers" with her when appreciating her paintings.  


Sometimes, Fang Yingying also hopes to draw people's attention to the trivial matters that are easy to be ignored in the city. She drew a picture with the background of Shuwa Street, which depicts a sanitation worker squatting under a bridge. She wrote: "They are often seen resting under bridges, but although there is from shelter from rain and sun, it is not windproof. It would be better if there is a small room for them to rest."

"The things I drew at the beginning were merely to record my own life. Later, I found that it touched other people too." At the beginning, Fang Yingying did not anticipate the attention she would receive today. Whether on Weibo or WeChat, there is always someone eagerly expecting her new creation every day. 

In many recent comments, Fang Yingying was most impressed by a friend who works in another city. "I want to go back to Chengdu whenever I see your paintings." As for why her paintings strike a chord with so many people, Yingying has her own thoughts: "If I see parts of Chengdu in TV and movies, I'm often eager to see them for myself. Maybe a lot of other people in Chengdu have such feelings, so I hope for everybody to feel warm and nostalgic when seeing familiar scenes in my paintings!" 


Fang Yingying says that painting for her has not become a "mission". It is just "a meaningful thing that she is compelled to complete every day. A person can only live once, and Chengdu changes every day, so I think I need to cherish everything I've seen and experienced." 

Excerpted from HELLO Chengdu June Issue

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