Caroline R. Young was adopted by ex-patriots of Chinese-American living in Hongkong. Chinese culture and how it explains the mysteries of universe has always been fascinating to her.
Just as American kids that grew up with Cinderella and Snow White, Chinese kids grew up with stories like Legend of Chang-Er and her rabbit, and Kwan Yin, The Goddess of Mercy.
Her attraction to Chinese culture had brought her to learn fine art, which gained full support from her mother. Caroline was later trained by Lam Oi Char to learn about traditional Chinese painting.
Here are some of her extraordinary works that we’ve picked.
Through painting, Caroline was able to pour her imagination of Chinese culture. Her artworks tell stories about legends and characters in Chinese history. And most of the characters she painted are women.
This painting is called ‘Lady of Valor’, that tells story about Diao Chan, a character who lived in Han Dynasty. If you ever read about the Three Kingdoms, you will know that Diao Chan was a beautiful girl who was sent to create hostility between Dong Zhou and his step son, Lu Bu.
This is ‘Healing Legacy’, illustrating Bau Gu who lived in Jin Dynasty.
And this is ‘Peerless Beauty’, describing about Wang ZhaoJun who lived in the era of Han Dynasty.
The story began when The Emperor of Han Dynasty just negotiated a peace treaty with the barbarian king and he was going to give one of his concubines as an offering. Painters were then dispatched to paint all his concubines, so he could choose the ugliest one to give to the barbarian king.
One of the painters was an evil and corrupt man, and he was the one who is going to paint Wang ZhaoJun.
When Wang ZhaoJun refused to bribe him, he drawed a big ugly birthmark on her face in the portrait. Since she looked the ugliest among all concubines, she was selected as the sacrificial offer.
The Emperor later regretted his decision. When Wang ZhaoJun appeared on the appointed day, he realized she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life.
Caroline paints using watercolor, acrylic and gouache on a Japanese silk. Gouache is a method to use opaque color pigment with water, which is mixed with substances such as honey and gum. The mixture makes it thicker and more opaque, with greater reflective qualities.
The technique that Caroline use is laboured-intensive ‘gongbi’ style in traditional Chinese painting, using multiple light washes of color to be applied in numbers of layer to create color intensity.
It takes 6-8 weeks, with 8-10 hours per day and 6 days a week to complete a 30 x 20 inch painting, working on only one painting at a time.
Let’s take a look at the other paintings that are created by Caroline Young.
Another painting of Diao Chan in ‘Beauty That Shames The Moon’.
Mei Fei (Plum Consort) in ‘Blossoms In The Snow’.
Zen Hou in ‘Missing You’.
Caroline’s paintings can be found in many galleries such as:
- The Frame Shop at Lakeside in Reno, Nevada
- Richardson Gallery of Fine Art in Reno, Nevada
- Exclusive Fine Art in Vallejo, California
- Image Design & Framing in Danville, California
- Dreams of Paradise Gallery in Hilo, Hawaii
- AFA SoHo NYC in New York, New York
- AFA Gallery Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada
- Alice Rice Gallery in Laguna Beach, California
- Lahaina Galleries in Maui, Hawaii
Beside in the above galleries, her artworks are also displayed as the permanent collection of the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana and the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena.
Video credit: Caroline R. Young
Her wishes through paintings are to share 5,000 years of Chinese culture and civilization to the world, as well as to give insights into the motivations, aspirations and ethos of modern day China.
Caroline Young’s artworks are collected all over the world, from England to Singapore and from Hong Kong to Australia. Many of her clients are Chinese-Americans looking for their forgotten heritage.
Her artworks can be found and purchased online through her website.
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Wasabee is a content editor, digital marketer and art enthusiast. He is also a jazz and bossa lover.