Born in Ningxia, Qinghai in 1977, Mrs Yi Jiang began her professional painting at the age of 13. She had been learning Gongbi, traditional Chinese realistic painting from the prestigious painter Mr Xueyuan Gong. Mrs Jiang majored in Arts and Crafts and graduated from Mianyang Education College, Sichuan, China. During her college years, she studied plaster cast sketch, watercolour painting, Chinese calligraphy, Industrial Arts and Chinese Painting. From 2001 to 2009, she was engaged in art education in the Children's Palace of Mianyang City. Since 2018, she has been teaching at UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland.

The evolution of Gongbi has a long history. From the Warring States Period (476 BC – 221 BC) to the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279 CE), Gongbi has matured into a meticulous brush technique that delimits details very precisely and without independent or expressive variation. It is often highly coloured and usually depicts figural or narrative subjects. These paintings peaked between the Tang and Song dynasties (7th – 13th CE) when these refined paintings were endorsed and collected by the royal families of China.

Gongbi requires drawing with fine lines first to represent the exaggerated likenesses of the objects, and then adds washes of ink and colour layer by layer so as to approach the perfection of exquisiteness and fine art. Generally, the colours are bold, lively, and elegant with unified palette, and show a strong aesthetic charm of Chinese national colours.



Melody of Butterflies in Love with Flowers

Gongbi | Gold foil and Chinese Painting Pigments | 2020

Peonies possess surpassing beauty and lotus flowers a heavenly fragrance.

The moon holds in awe the beauty of chrysanthemum, and the orchid shames other flowers.

Butterflies are attracted in pairs to fly among the flowers, besotted and intoxicated.

I dreamed I was a butterfly and chasing the flowers with affection.

Either rich or light in colour, all flowers turn on their charm for butterflies.


Free and Easy Wandering

Gongbi | Gold foil and Chinese Painting Pigments | 2020

Zhuangzi’s “Xiao Yao You” expresses his ideal of life, that is, “wandering beyond the boundaries”, having no dependence on worldly things, being one with nature and roam about without any restriction in the world.

“You” is to wander not physically but spiritually. The viewer can find the golden arowana's domineering posture, unrestrained and free. Although the artist cannot break free from the shackles of her body, she is placing her hopes on the works so that her spirit is free as the fish.


Sway in the Wind ∙ Mellow Tipsiness

Gongbi | Gold foil and Chinese Painting Pigments | 2021

The peacock was a very noble symbol both in the ancient East and West. In the Eastern legend, the peacock was bred by the phoenix, the eldest bird of all birds. It was born of the same mother as the mythological bird Dapeng and was named “Mahamayuri (The Queen of the Secret Sciences)” by Gautama Buddha. In Western mythology, the peacock is the holy bird of Queen Hera. Because Hera is called Juno in Roman mythology, the peacock is also called the “Bird of Juno”.

I hope to use the song "Fuyao (sway in the wind)" to depict the peacock’s domineering posture: flying flowers leave dancing shades on the ground, leaving nothing but loneliness between the sky and the earth, sway in the wind, I can set myself free, and there I am in your dream, handsome and fleeting!


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