Richmond artist portrays endangered species through painting

A local artist is showcasing a 27-foot painting that aims to bring awareness to endangered animals around the world.

Titled Beauty Contest, the painting consists of ten endangered animals – only a few of many in the world – and is displayed on the second floor of the City Centre Community Centre.

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Ming Yeung, a Richmond resident and painter, created the scroll-like painting in hopes of sparking discussion and awareness about vulnerable species on the planet.

“The art piece is a story-fused painting with basic information about the animals such as their habitats and what makes them endangered,” said Yeung, adding that she spent a lot of time researching the animals prior to painting the piece.

“I want to share this knowledge with the next generation and youngsters, and (show) how it is terrible that these animals could become extinct.”

Yeung’s goal for the painting is to “give a voice” to the endangered animals as well as all species in the world.

“I want to showcase their beauty and their struggles at the same time, hence the title ‘Beauty Contest’,” said Yeung.

Traditional Chinese painting, said Yeung, uses long scroll-like rice paper; she was inspired to use the length of paper as a symbol of the vast and growing number vulnerable species around the world.

“The longer the painting, the more endangered animals there are.”

This style of painting has been Yeung’s favourite form of art since 1999.

Her subjects were often flowers, birds and insects, until she started hearing more news about endangered species in 2014.

 “In 2015, I decided to put more effort into painting endangered animals such as rhinos,” said Yeung.

“With Wildlife Day coming up on March 2, I hope the community can come by to take a look and ask questions about what we can do to help these animals.”

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