In Bvlag by Ming Yu

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Ming Yu

In Bvlag


40 x 50 cm | 15 1/2 x 19 1/2 in

Oil on linen

  • Best in Show ($10,000 Cash Award)

"In Bvlag is a portrait of Sergey, a Russian painter I met in Prague. He moved to Europe when the Soviet Union dissolved due to his persistent pursuit of art and strong longing for freedom. However, Sergey discovered that earthly reality was far away from his ideal world and that he was living in a realm of unevenness, imperfections and impurities. He believed the physical world and its forms was gradually unveiled in front of him and that the mortals of his ideal world made Sergey feel isolated and extremely lonely, but he never gave up searching the 'ideal forms of world' in his art.

I was immediately drawn to Sergey’s unique personality. When he sat in front of me, I could see his character traits switching back and forth between stubbornness and persistence. I painted this piece on a beautiful afternoon. The sunlight beamed through the white window presenting the afternoon sun against Sergey’s sculpted face casting thin golden stripes across his characterized facial edges. Through the window, the outside world looked like a fairytale kingdom, but the wall behind him separates him like a border from reality outside, which he hasn’t managed breaking down yet. The sunlight symbolized hope. His eyes, open in vision, stared sternly across the sunbeam. Suddenly he paused and all of a sudden it was as if all this man’s misery melted away, replaced by a moment of hope which has been hidden deeply inside him. The whole phenomenal world was dissolved into an ocean of blissful radiance and his ideal world had arisen again." – MING YU