Peony Yip (White Deer) is a Hong Kong based artist whose primary subject matter is the wonder and processes of the natural world. While the artist has received considerable media attention for her illustrations, she shares that she mostly makes art in her spare time. Such beauty made on the sly… I suppose talent and creativity resists being ignored, and from this deep well, she makes distinctive drawings and paintings that seem as if vignettes of private observation – studies of cycles of life, blossoming, and decay.
For Peony, the images serve as an antidote to the fast paced technology drive mindset of Hong Kong. A certain modesty characterizes the artist’s way of looking at the world, and her own role as an artist. When asked Peony explains that she just makes her drawings and paintings, they come from within. A shadow life of astounding vision and delicacy…
Peony’s To Bloom Not Bleed series approaches the cycle of life, and death, a moment “about the beauty in death, similarly the Transformation series uses transposed images of people, animals, flowering, decaying and strange insects.
RB: Please tell me about the Transformation series, I am very interested in the reoccurring theme of birth, growth, change, death, disintegration and recycled matter, the bones to dirt…
Peony Yip: If we die and are returned back to nature, wouldn’t that be something beautiful and wouldn’t you want to give back to what the Earth has given us? Transformation is my most extensive series. In this work, I try to show death as something more than loss or a negative event. The work is a reverie on life cycle: from birth to death, and the final return to nature. Humans have taken so much from the world and used up so many resources that it is only right we give back.
RB: What is your technique? What tools do you use?
PY: Each series is different, I try to experiment constantly, but in general my tools include simple materials such as ball point pens, graphite, watercolors, acrylic paint, gouache and ink.
Out of Body portrays two sisters -one the artist describes as dark, the other — light, their rivalry and nature symbolized by the theme of spirit animals.