Dr Shirley Yeung in black on the right. Ms Ravan holding her upcycling environmental T-shirt in biotech for wellness -Butterfly

Connecting Health and  Sustainability with Dr Yeung’s Yoga-Chinese Calligraphy Techniques

Dr Shirley Yeung showcases her unique style as a means to connect arts, health and wellness, and sustainability.

5 mins read

From June 8 –10, Dr Shirley Yeung convened the “SDG Acceleration Exhibition with Environmental Paint and Environmental Board in Chinese Calligraphy Techniques and Yoga Pose” project with support from the International Centre for Environmental Education and Community Development (ICENEDEV), UN Global Compact in Beijing, China. 

The exhibition, which comes as part of SYART gallery’s 18th anniversary, explores Sustainable Development Goals from SDG #3 Wellness – Understanding Materials and Health to  SDGs#4, 5, 8, and 11(Entrepreneurship, Education, Gender Equality, and Environmental Sustainability). 

Dr Shirley Yeung spearheaded this project with her experience as a Young Asian Artist (Top 40/1500) awardee, Chair of Community Education at ICENECDEV, UN Global Compact Member, and Professor-of-Practice and Head of the School of Business at Gratia Christian College. In June, Dr Yeung was nominated for Art and Culture ImPACT Coalition Member, UN Civil Society, 2024, with her 37th SDG x ESG book published in the same month and her paintings have been selected by the 63th Toronto Outdoor Art Fair to display in a virtual exhibition on July 12. 

As a part of the anniversary,  Anita Chan Lai-ling Gallery will be hosting  Dr Yeung’s  Paintings Exhibition from June 23 – 26, 2024. This is part of the project “Restore the Nature with Innovations via SDGs and ESG  x Web 3.0.” On 26 June 2024, Dr Yeung will be joined by the renowned art entrepreneur from Beijing and Paris,  Mr. Song Yang,  who was selected to partner with Milan Triennale on cultural projects in Italy and cinema.

Succeding the UN Civil Society Conference in Kenya, on May 9, 2024, this is a forward shift to the Arts & Culture ImPACT Coalition that launched at the UN Civil Society Conference. Since 2019, ongoing monthly transformations in SDG x ESG have highlighted the need for community education, creative arts and culture, gender equality, and decent job creation. These efforts require policy support and technology for monitoring and evaluation to determine their impacts.

Dr. Yeung emphasizes the role of arts and culture in connecting health and wellness, content creation, and cultural diversity. “Art with culture and values can be a meaningful tool for storytelling and communication, helping businesses convey their values and messages to a wider audience. Art is more than just a form of expression,” She said, “It is a way of showing your identity in an artistic way to communicate with your inner self and your audience via unique stories, and ideas with vivid use of colors, visual or auditory mediums. As an educator, I believe that art or content creation plays a crucial role in fostering self-exploration, creativity, critical thinking, and empathy in students. By engaging with art and culture, materials and technology, we can develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around them, and ultimately become more well-rounded individuals.”

Some of the yoga-calligraphy poses showcased at the exhibition include Breath-Calligraphy Yoga, Seated Calligraphy, and Calligraphy-Inspired Yoga Flows.  Breath-Calligraphy Yoga combines gentle yoga flows with Chinese calligraphy strokes. It uses breath as inspiration for the brushstrokes, exploring the connection between body movement and Chinese brush strokes with breath in/ out for inner peace and balance.  

Seated Calligraphy is practiced in seated yoga poses (e.g., seated forward fold, pigeon pose) while holding a calligraphy brush and ink. Focus on the movement of the brush strokes – dot, lines, tai, trail, hook and the flow of the strokes. And Calligraphy-Inspired Yoga Flows creates a sequence of yoga poses via understanding your body’s strength and flexibility inspired by Chinese calligraphy strokes. For example, “Dragon’s Tail” could be a flowing sequence of vinyasa movements

Dr. Shirley Mo Ching Yeung is a life artist with top 40/1500 Young Asian Award, Asia Representative and curator for SYART Gallery, 2022. The Hong Kong-based artist, educator, and researcher has made significant contributions to the field of CSR, SDG, ESG and art content creation with environmental paint and materials to educate the younger generation. As a professional life artist, Dr. Yeung has developed a unique style that reflects her life’s philosophical and artistic perspectives – purity, calmness, harmony and resilience via practicing the Chinese character of these four values.

Dr. Yeung’s artistic style is characterized by a blend of traditional Chinese techniques, modern abstract expressionism with the use of aryclic, mold clay, water colors, and introspective contemplation. Her paintings often feature subtle color palettes, delicate brushstrokes, and intricate textures, which evoke a sense of serenity, purity, calmness,  and harmony. Her work is deeply rooted in the principles of different cultures – Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, renki, yoga and zen – where she draws the inspiration to explore the use of colors, strokes, Chinese brush, and materials for spirituality, and the interconnectedness of all things.

In her paintings, Dr. Yeung frequently employs symbolism, metaphor, and allegory to convey complex emotions and ideas. Her use of abstract forms, lines, and shapes creates a sense of ambiguity, inviting the viewer to engage with the artwork on a deeper level. This ambiguity also reflects Dr. Yeung’s interest in exploring the liminal spaces between reality and fantasy, the self and the universe.

Environmental Paint Board from Sweater materials with Environmental Paint from Spain

As a professor and life artist, Dr. Yeung’s level of self-growth is evident in her ability to experiment and exposure to diverse artistic influences with acceptance and modifications from her philosophical perspectives, and personal experiences for her own brand MoMo慕. Her artistic journey spans across over 40 countries in 30 years.

Dr. Yeung’s mastery of various techniques, including oil painting, watercolor, Chinese ink painting, and printmaking, demonstrates her technical proficiency and versatility as an artist. Her ability to experiment with different mediums and styles has allowed her to open her heart to tolerance and extend to cultural diversity, incorporating modernist and contemporary influences.

Moreover, Dr. Yeung’s commitment to exploring the human condition through art has led her to engage in numerous international collaborations via working Entrepreneurial Academy Project with UNOSSC in the past few years, teaching in different institutions in different countries, resident artist in Boomer Gallery, London, and exhibitions held in Anita Chan Lai-ling, Fringe Club, Hong Kong, SYART Gallery, Beijing, China, Italy, Singapore, and Portugal. Her participation in these projects has not only expanded her artistic networks but also provided opportunities for life reflection and artistic growth.                                                    

Dr. Shirley Mo Ching Yeung’s artistic style is characterized by its unique blend of traditional Chinese techniques, modern abstract expressionism, and introspective contemplation. Throughout her career, Dr. Yeung has demonstrated commitment to serving the community via projects on SDG x ESG x web 3.0 with her pioneer artistic vision, continually pushing the boundaries of her professional teaching, humble learning and art experiences while exploring new themes and mediums for content creations with values to treasure. Her work serves as a testament to the power of art in transcending cultural boundaries and inspiring personal growth and transformation.

Sports movement and yoga movement are two powerful tools that can be used to achieve the SDGs and ESG objectives. By combining these practices, individuals can develop a more holistic approach to promoting SDG#3 well-being, SDG#11 environmental sustainability, and social responsibility. By integrating physical activity with mindfulness practices, fostering community engagement through sports, and developing leadership skills through yoga, a more sustainable future can be created for all.

Written by Dr Shirley Yeung

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