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Artist Use New Media to Illustrate Ancient Art

GNSGNS photo
Henry stands in front of some of his artwork

Henry Yam was one of four students to have their art on display at the annual Grade 12 IB Art Exhibition last month, where he proudly shared five drawings of characters from Chinese mythology.

“My favourite media that I use is alcohol marker on paper because they can produce digital-like drawings,” he said. “It’s also not a common art media and I think that’s really cool. My favourite thing is the challenge to make it visually appealing.”

He’s most pleased with the piece from his collection titled “The Sentimental Fool,” which is an illustration of the character Xuanzang/Monk Tang from an old Chinese fiction/mythology Journey to the West. Henry used negative space to create an invisible wall behind the character, which aimed to hide monster characters from the story.

“I made use of negative space, and I had never done anything like this before, so that’s why it was my favourite piece,” he explained.

When creating art, Henry said he tries to show the audience his creativity.

“I don’t really get inspired, but what I try to do is express my creativity, and I think it’s important for me to express my ideas,” he said.

During the exhibition, many students, faculty and families had the chance to see Henry’s work, and he hopes his audience learned something about the characters he drew.

“I want them to get to know Chinese mythology; I hope I get people interested in it,” he said. “I also want to promote alcohol marker as an arts media to others.”

Henry has been creating art since he was around three years old, but only started to take it seriously in 2019.

“I was thinking about my career, and I wanted to do something that I knew I’d be interested in, which is drawing,” he said. “My skills weren’t really there at the time, so I had to just extensively practice since then.”

Henry said his dream is to become a Manga artist in Japan. Manga is akin to Japanese comic books, but he would also like to study film, where sequential art is important.