Chinese painter Yang Yang's picture books combine science and botany
Updated 19:53, 16-Nov-2020
By Yang Yan

A mysterious galaxy, planets with beautiful plants, a little girl and her dinosaur, and their new friend – a hedgehog. It is the universe of Yang Yang's new picture books, "Please Forgive Me, Spot" and "Magic Greetings."

Noted Chinese painter Yang Yang has put her artistic skills to work in two newly-released volumes that are favored by little ones and adults alike. 

It's the well-known oil painter's first venture into publishing. The inspiration came from her love of science, and her growing fascination with plants.

Painter Yang Yang's picture book: "Magic Greetings." /Authorized by Yang Yang

Painter Yang Yang's picture book: "Magic Greetings." /Authorized by Yang Yang

"Picture books and fairytales play an essential role in influencing children's values, and are bound to shape their worldview. I use my brush for this huge project," Yang Yang said, "Although it's hard work, I have to finish it. When children are looking at beautiful picture books, they learn to appreciate the beauty of the world. And these books have a scientific background, which will arouse their curiosity. Then my work has value."

Yang Yang is very animated when talking about her work. It's clear she cherishes her creations. Picture books have given her a new way to express herself.

She said it's a happy thing to draw for children. She spent a month in London to be near Kew Gardens. The huge collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens was all she hoped for.

Writing the picture books was a long process that absorbed nearly all her attention. She says it's completely different from doing an oil painting. And she wants everything she does to be perfect.

Painter Yang Yang's picture book: "Please Forgive Me, Spot." /Authorized by Yang Yang

Painter Yang Yang's picture book: "Please Forgive Me, Spot." /Authorized by Yang Yang

"I realized that for a good work, any of them, the most critical part is not the plot, it's the soul. The soul of the book, the soul of the figures," Yang Yang added.

In short, there must be something that expresses universal values. In these two books, it's present through the emotional connection, she said.

Yang Yang will continue to write and draw picture books, building her "Magic Ball Galaxy" series. She envisions a complete fresh universe, which children can explore with their imagination.

(Cover: Chinese painter Yang Yang. /CGTN)