“Six Records of a Floating Life” is an intriguing book about the love story between Qing dynasty Chinese writer Shenfu and his wife, Yunniang. Unlike the traditional standard of beauty, Yunniang is depicted as an intelligent and artistic woman. Her love for art and unique lifestyle bring a special joy and richness to their everyday life, illustrating a deeper, more personal kind of beauty and connection.
Yingji is a character originally created by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, a renowned Ukiyo-e artist. Yoshitoshi, also known as Taiso Yoshitoshi, lived from April 30, 1839, to June 9, 1892. He was notable for his works in the Ukiyo-e genre, which often depicted scenes from history, folklore, and love stories. The character Yingji is a product of Yoshitoshi’s artistic imagination, representing themes common in his work.
Inspired by the artistic and intellectual character of Yunniang from “Six Records of a Floating Life,” and the beauty of Yingji, a creation of Ukiyo-e artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, I decided to combine these two women in art. I used watercolors to paint Yingji, but in honoring Yunniang’s essence, I named the painting after her. This fusion symbolizes a blend of historical inspiration and artistic interpretation, celebrating both inner and outer beauty.