Watch how this artist brings his art to life

  • Living
  • Monday, 27 Feb 2017

Twenty hours. That’s how long it took for this artist to complete his Chinese New Year art tribute.

The time-lapse video shows the entire 20 hours of the long process condensed into a watchable 58 seconds.

The artist, Yang Chong-Yi, says that 20 hours aren't the longest he has taken to complete a piece.

“My work can take anywhere from between 30 minutes to more than 100 hours, depending on the dimensions and style,” he explains. “My signature style – realistic portraiture – usually takes between 40 to 60 hours for an A2 size.”

His signature style requires time for the fine details resulting in hyperrealistic art.
His signature style requires time for the fine details resulting in hyperrealistic art.

Chinese New Year tribute

Over Chinese New Year, Yang collaborated with Huawei to create a piece for the auspicious celebration. Yang, a fan of Huawei, created a greeting card that featured the company’s product.

“Nowadays, people send e-greeting cards instead of a physical card to greet others. So I chose to draw a "greeting card" that could be shared,” he says.

Connection is key in this piece that Yang created in collaboration with Huawei.

Technology has rapidly evolved and it’s now easier to connect with others. With that in mind, Yang decided to combine elements of the Chinese New Year celebration and making connections through technology.

“The first thing that came to mind was the process of "welcoming the God of prosperity" on the eve of Chinese New Year,” Yang explains. “We prepare everything to welcome the God, hoping to express our New Year resolutions. It's about connection! I thought it would be cool if our technology could actually connect us to the God.”

Yang’s Chinese New Year feature is very different from his signature style. Rather than utilising realistic portraiture, his new piece features an interesting combination of other techniques using tools like pencils, pens and markers.

When it all began

Drawing has become a part of Yang’s everyday life.
Drawing has become a part of Yang’s everyday life.

Yang’s interest in art started at a young age, largely thanks to comics from Japan and Hong Kong. At the tender age of eight, Yang was enrolled in art classes for two years. Those classes were his first steps into the world of art.

After the end of his art classes, he sought to explore other interests like sports and music. It was only later in high school that he found himself drawn to it once more.

Presenting a sketch to a friend for her birthday served as a catalyst; the feedback and encouragement from his friends cemented his desire to continue working on his art.

Drawing has become a part of Yang’s everyday life.

With time and practice, Yang’s art improved and he eventually found himself holding a solo exhibition in 2013 when he was studying in Singapore.

“It was the most memorable experience,” Yang recalls fondly. “Many of my friends came down to support me. I felt so proud of what I had achieved.”

Learning from the pros

Looking at his artwork now, one might assume that he’s formally trained in art. However, the talented Yang actually holds a bachelor’s degree in pure physics. While he views his craft as a hobby, he’s certainly passionate about it and has worked hard to improve his skills.

This piece featuring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean took Yang 65 hours to complete.
This piece featuring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean took Yang 65 hours to complete.

When Yang picked up drawing in high school, he developed a strong foundation in the basics. He often helped his classmates with their sketches, but realised that he wasn’t able to make any big improvements tohis skills.

However, things started to pick up when Yang went to university. Despite pursuing a degree unrelated to his hidden talent, he continued to develop and work on his art.

Occasionally, Yang noticed art tutorials on Facebook that he found to be very helpful. It then evolved into Yang actively browsing through YouTube for similar videos.

“With my friend's suggestions and encouragement, I started to reach out to many art-related websites,” he says. "I learned much from rigorous questioning, interaction and communication. It was then that I saw a big jump in my drawing skills.”

Yang proved to be very fortunate. He apprenticed for a local artist for a period of time, during which he was able to further develop his skills. While working with the artist, he also picked up traditional painting over the course of a few months. After his apprenticeship ended, he took up a full-time job while continuing his creative pursuits on a freelance basis.

Since Huawei’s feature, Yang has noticed that his Facebook page has been getting more views. Despite the increase, Yang remains humble about his work.

“With my art, there’s no goal of gaining money or popularity out of it,” he says. “I do art simply because I love it.

This article is brought to you by Huawei.

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