Talk and Draw

Reference for Friday, May 28

Ruby Wang 1985 watercolor - Talk and Draw: Ruby H. Wang

Bamboo in Snow
Ruby H. Wang
Watercolor on Rice Paper

Ruby H. Wang’s watercolors are devoid of people–florals and landscapes are what occupy the focus her canvases.

When asked why in a 1984 interview with The Sunday Press , she said, “I like to be quiet and meditative, and I can express this aspect of my personality by painting landscapes and nature rather than by depicting people.”

She has described painting for her as a spiritual experience where her mind is able to wander off into another world. 

After a trip to China in 1983, Wang’s pieces began to shift towards a more somber tone. “I no longer wanted to paint traditional Chinese landscapes, I needed to express my own feelings about my homeland in my paintings,” she said in the same 1984 interview. In 1983, public safety in China was worsening following the Cultural Revolution.

“I’m trying to depict the true image of the landscape and at the same time incorporate the heavy feelings I have about the suffering that the Chinese people endure.”

Ruby wang signed watercolor - Talk and Draw: Ruby H. Wang
Ruby wang closeup 85 watercolor - Talk and Draw: Ruby H. Wang

From the Archives

Back in 1996, Roberson Museum and Science Center did an exhibition of Ruby Wang’s work, called “Old Principles, New Horizons.”

We’ve included a digital copy of the exhibition catalog for you to browse the works shown.

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Support provided by the general operations support grants from the United Cultural Fund, a program of the Broome County Arts Council; the Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation; the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Program, administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreational, and Historical Preservation; and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.