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Art exhibition features mother and daughter

By Hannah Scott

Published 2:27 PDT, Fri September 9, 2022

The Community Arts Council of Richmond’s annual Midsummer Art’s Dream exhibition is available online for the next several months, bringing locals’ art to people through a virtual gallery.

Mother and daughter Hong sa Yeh and Ya ting Chen are both exhibiting their work in the gallery. Yeh is a painter and Chen is a photographer.

Yeh has been using Chinese water colours for more than 50 years, although it became more of a focus for her after arriving in Canada in 2006.

“When I was a little girl, I lived in a rural country with mountains and rivers in Taiwan. There were many trees and wild flowers near my home. There were birds singing on the trees and butterflies flying among the flowers,” says Yeh.

As a child, she wanted to be able to capture those beautiful landscapes through art and display them in her home. She completed training in education, intending to be an elementary school teacher and teach singing, dancing, and drawing. 

She later became a professor in the history department of Taiwan’s Tamkang University, where she taught Chinese history courses for more than 30 years. After school, she would participate in music and painting activities.

“I’m just an art lover, not a professional artist,” says Yeh. “After immigrating to Vancouver, I found that it is a very beautiful place, (with) different scenery in the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter.”

Yeh says she’s met many friends here who also love to sing and paint, which helps motivate her to continue creating. However, the pandemic has made it more challenging to get together with friends and exchange ideas.

“The two works which I chose for the exhibition are all pastel colour works in Chinese water colour painting. They are Bamboo and Butterfly Chasing Flowers. Both are my own favourite works at (the) moment—I just want to show the beautiful nature to everyone in a Chinese traditional way,” says Yeh. “They bring me (a) peaceful feeling, and I (hope) they can also make others feel calm, too.”

Chen has been taking photos since she was in university in Taiwan more than 25 years ago. As a biology major, she gained an appreciation for nature and wanted to capture things through photography.

“After immigrating to Canada in 2003, I started photographing, documenting my life and capturing every impressive moment,” says Chen. “I like to use photos to record my life—I can review lots of the wonderful moments. Things may change over time, but I can recall every emotional (time) through photos.”

Chen has been sharing her photos online for more than 20 years, initially through her own blog and now through Facebook. Others shared their stories with her, which motivated her to continue with photography. The impactful moment when she first photographed a wild eagle has stuck with her over time. 

“The pandemic affected me a lot. Before I was quite often travelling to take pictures, but the pandemic made me stay home most of the time. I found that I lost my passion after not going out. I am still trying to find my love (again) now,” says Chen.

Two of her photographs are displayed at the exhibition. Light, her favourite of the two, was taken at an alpaca farm on a hot sunny day. The warmth and positivity of the light caught her eye and she wanted to share it with others.

“The other one is Sunset, (which) was taken at Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island during our fist overnight trip after the pandemic,” says Chen. “The colour of the sunset that day was strong, (and) I felt happy and relaxed. A good day is over, tomorrow will be an even better day. Although the sunset is the end, it is also another hopeful beginning.”

To view the Midsummer Art’s Dream exhibition online, click here.

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