Even more meditative than educational was the experience of visiting Yani Wang’s atelier in the Munich’s West-End. It was not until she presented us with a newspaper exempt about herself “The world’s youngest person to ever have their art featured on a stamp” — and a Chinese one on top of that — that it became clear this woman was famous well-beyond the city limits.
Her studio is a hidden gem to anyone who wants to be inspired or learn from the artist herself.
Now residing in Munich and having her atelier in Schulstraße 21. from which she works every day, Yani was born in the small town of Gongcheng in Southern China. Living in a Confucian temple which in 1975 operated as a cultural centre, she was surrounded by artists and taught first-hand by her own father. When she was 4 she was already painting herself, using her pet-monkey as the primary motive “but my favourite object to paint has always been apples”, she says with a voice of fascination, which is only easily understood in the light of her general interest in one-stroke-shapes.
Not losing your child-like heart and expression is something Yani values a lot. She has an almost sarcastic distance to her work, making it seem as though it is not even work but natural habit and play. For 30 euros per person, anyone can go there on a night after work or study and learn to play around with the brushes and water-colours. Your presence will not come across as anything more than individual expression for Yani, who patiently and lovingly lays out one paper after the other to watch you improve your hold, pressure, and precision.
After moving to Shanghai, and following her early success, she was offered a spot at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where she impressed with her highly developed and independent style. After meeting her husband and having her first child, her international career was put on a momentary hold — she was however still shown around Munich time and time again. Now she’s an established artist in Germany. And thank God for that.
“How long did it take you to do the painting on the back-wall?” one of the participants in the workshop asked. “One evening”, Yani says without even blinking “I had to paint something that day so I just took the evening off and did it really fast — the first stroke is always the hardest, it needs to be completely perfect, and the rest follows!” After three hours there we suddenly realised how late it had become — not having felt pressured to leave. “Now you have your Christmas presents ready for next year” she said as she sent us off, and told us to come visit her again soon.
Tuschmalerei in München
Yani Wang Atelier
Schulstraße 21, 80634 Munich
+49 (0) 176 70485981