Opening either one of these two fabulous books is like going on a birding expedition in the forests of Taiwan. Watercolourist Anderson Yang is a Robert Bateman of watercolours. Having dabbled in the medium, I find myself looking at his paintings and wondering how anyone could achieve the incredible detail and accuracy that this artist does. The beauty of Yang’s work is his ability to produce an almost photographic quality where it counts while preserving a sense of the medium for Art’s sake. I can’t say enough, so I’ll stop gushing now.
The quality of the books is lovely for their period, too. Both are limited to one thousand copies.
The first, Water-Color Painting of Endemic Birds of Taiwan, is set into a matching slipcase. The corners of the opening edges are bound in brass; an interesting and classy touch to the binding! The paper in this volume is a standard, slightly heavier weight gloss, and the overall design is less artistic. The reproductions are one page, with more information about the birds filling the opposite and intervening pages. The text is bilingual with Chinese on the left page and English on the right. Where the next book is a work of art, this is more of an upscale coffee-table book.
The second, Water-Color Painting of Endangered Birds of Taiwan, is encased in a matching clam-shell box. The paper is reminiscent of fine watercolour paper. Each reproduced painting is faced by a page with just one line of text, and prefaced by a brief natural history of the bird. The text is bilingual, with Chinese on the left and English on the right.
Neither volume will disappoint the avid birder, or lovers of wildlife art.
Shu, Zeng-Zong; Anderson Yang, ill. Water-Color Painting of Endemic Birds of Taiiwan. No. 95 in a limited (and only) edition of 1000 copies. Published by the Artist, 1989. 1/2 royal blue over paler navy cloth, with an inset dyed in the darker colour and gilt-stamped with title, etc. (in both Chinese and English), and decorations, title, etc., gilt-stamped to spine. Matching slipcase encases the volume. Box corners bumped. Head and tail of spine bumped. Pages clean. Binding tight. A VG copy in a VG box. Autograph letters enclosed. UJL2 $400.00
Chung-Wei, Yen; Anderson Yang, ill. Water-Color Painting of Endangered Birds of Taiiwan. No. 99 in a limited (and only) edition of 1000 copies. Published by the Artist, 1993. 1/2 dark green over slightly paler green cloth, with an inset dyed in the darker colour and gilt-stamped with title, etc. (in both Chinese and English), and decorations, title, etc., gilt-stamped to spine. Book set into matching clam-shell box with pea green paper lining. Box corners lightly bumped. Pages clean. Binding tight. A Fine copy in a VG box.Autograph card enclosed. UJL1 $375.00
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