Chinese art student Wang Yue has added life (of the wild and still varieties) to the scarred, leafless trees and gray streets of one of China’s most polluted cities. Though her non-toxic painted masterpieces will fade in time, the joy and pleasure sparked by Wang Yue’s unexpected art has taken firm root in the hearts and minds of her fellow city-zens.
A Subject, A Prospect, A Project
(image via: Shangdu)
Wang Yue is a senior student of Visual Communication at Dalian Polytechnic University who enjoys walking along the tree-lined streets surrounding the campus. During one chilly and smoggy winter stroll, however, she was struck by the sad state of the trees: leafless and seemingly lifeless, speckled with soot and scarred by the hard knocks of city living.
Adding insult to injury, some of the more lazy and thoughtless passers-by had used the trees’ gaping wounds as impromptu garbage bins! As Wang Yue (above) looked closer, she noticed that the trees’ inner core wood was smooth where the outer bark had peeled back, making it an ideal if asymmetrical surface for painting upon.
(image via: Life 21CN)
One thought led to another and Wang Yue suddenly saw the answer to the question of her upcoming graduation project’s subject: she would paint the tree holes, thereby adding life and color to the drab streets of Shijiazhuang. The 10-million-strong capital of China’s Hebei province suffers some of the world’s worst air pollution so any attempt to relieve the gray pall often suffocating the city would be an improvement.
“I just thought the trees look miserable in the gray winter, leafless and colorless,” stated Wang Yue in a much-later interview with Anhui TV. “Why don’t I give them some color and make them more beautiful?”