Cabinet of curiosity in Maulbronn
Maulbronn is a nature rich, historically deep town.
At a morning walk to the monastery or on an afternoon bike ride to the near meadow, I found countless treasures. I am a natural born collector, but not in a normal way. Instead of keeping them in boxes, I collect them in a form of painting.
Like a cabinet of curiosities in the Age of Discovery, my collection is full of wonders gathered during my explorations in Maulbronn. Not just the morning monastery visit or the afternoon wonders to the meadow, the treasures were everywhere. Even on a way to do daily shopping, I spotted a magnificent subject.
Well, my treasures are not valuable artifacts or historically important discoveries. These are often overlooked or discreet and fragile bits of nature. It may be seen as a worthless piece, but to me, it is a precious gem. I see pure beauty in them, and I express my excitement and capture its beauty as a painting. Instead of telling how beautiful it is, I paint how beautiful it is.
While I was daydreaming and got lost deep in thought with the treasures, the season quickly changed from late chilly spring to hot dry summer. Plants were screaming “Pick me before the season passes,” but there were more treasures than my slow progress could catch.
Now, back to my own studio and spreading all the artworks I have done in Maulbronn, the memories and emotions flooded in me. You may also see my feelings of breathtaking joy and also agony of finding more than I can manage to portrait.
What a wonderful collection! I let out a sigh with awe and satisfaction.
I worked on two projects during the residency, One is “Diary”. It is done in 2.5 inch grid composition. Another is “Pieces of nature” done in vellum cut offs. While the “Diary” consists of bits of nature that deeply rooted my daily life there, the “Pieces of nature” portrayed more random encounters. Through the two projects, I offer you a tour of my nature-obsessed collection.
Monastery flower ceiling inspired :
Looking up the ceiling of the monastery, there is another beautiful meadow inviting me to pick the flowers there. Then, on the way back to the studio, the same flowers were swayed by the wind on the street, now literally inviting me to pick it up. I wondered. What was in the monks’ mind centuries ago when he painted the exact same flowers which I was portraying here…
Once people noticed that what attracts me, gifts started arrived – Gifts of wild flowers, insects specimen, and many invitations to the forests, to their gardens, to a private wine yard, and even to a monastery secret garden.
Thank you for all my new friends and supporters. All the gifts made my stay cheerful, and your supports are the reasons I can keep going. Thank you.
At last, thank you Karin and Hubert, for giving me this wonderful opportunity. Maulbronn gave me so much, and so you did. Without your kind encouragements and generous supports, my residency was never be this joyful and satisfactory.
Diary : Maulbronn Details captions
1. Welcome garden lilac
2. Unfortunate named, but lovely Bladder campion
3. Serviceberry on the top of the hill behind the monastery
4. Field scabious
5. A rose bud in front of a glass house
6. Pinot blanc wine flower from the monastery vineyard
7. A wild berry
8. A gorgeous layered columbine flower
9. A leaf from Hesse’s linden tree with red galls
10. Garden invaders : striped bug army on fennel leaves
11. St.John’s wort in a secret garden with a honey bee and a bumbled bee
12. White asparagus
13.Famous magnolia at the monastery
14. Red currants
15. Monastery wall rue