When life is boring, it can stir people’s creativity and desire to make it more interesting. Artist Yan Bingqing believes that he should paint distinctive pictures to make up for not having weird experiences in real life.

Yan likes to take the bus or the subway at ordinary times. It is one of his hobbies because it relaxes him and lets his imagination run free.

During these times, he gets many new ideas. It was on the subway that he got the idea to paint Hold, which shows a subway train that is about to be derailed off tracks. Most passengers are panicking and holding on the handles firmly, except for one man. The man is holding a long stick and walking calmly, which makes him appear like an acrobat performing.

“When I was taking the subway one day, an idea flashed inside my mind: if there were an emergency on the subway, how would the passengers react,” Yan said. Then, he recorded his idea on his mobile phone and started to create based on it after he got home.

Yan thinks it is fruitless for an artist to purposefully seek inspiration.

“Deliberately searching for inspiration is uncomfortable,” he said. “The feeling is like when you want to crap but you can’t, and in the end you contract hemorrhoids.”

Yan chose to paint not only because of his interest but also because he wanted to meet his father’s expectations.

Ever since Yan was born, his father expected him to become an artist. His father named him after Yan Zhenqing, a Chinese calligrapher in Tang dynasty, hoping that his son could become as accomplished as the famous calligrapher.

Yan’s road to art went more smoothly than others’.

During primary school in Shanghai, a teacher recommended that he take part in a drawing contest. He did and won a prize. In order to afford Yan to receive a better education, his father persuaded the other family members to send him to a middle school under China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province in 1998.

At first Yan didn’t want to go away from home but eventually relented. Now he is grateful for his father’s decision.

Yan received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from China Academy of Art. After graduation, he decided he would be a professional painter. It’s been going well so far, and he hopes to continue to do it.

“I will spend my whole life painting,” he said.


Shu Pengqian

About Shu Pengqian

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Shu Pengqian is a TV drama and novel addict. Although most people think she looks like an introvert, she's actually really outgoing.

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