"This is the very first painting of the Gold Coast Series, which marks the turning point of my career. With this painting, a door was flung open in my heart, and I suddenly found myself in a realm filled with passion and vision, with beauty and joy. To this day, I can still feel the tingle I felt upon pouring my exultation onto this canvas. As I painted nearly 200 figures reveling in a spontaneous street festival on a summer night, I was likewise celebrating in my own heart."
"In 1869 the engineer Andrew Hallidie witnessed the death of five horses, collapsed in an attempt to pull a too-heavy load up one of the many steep slopes of San Francisco. A caring man, Hallidie determined to invent a transportation system that would eliminate such inhumane tragedies. He set to work, and four years later, the famous cable car was born. "One day I strolled down Powell Street at sunset. As I gazed at the cable cars, emerging one after another from the soft wisps of fog lingering in the air, my heart grew warm: in my eyes the cars were no longer just unique devices of transportation, but beautiful symbols of human compassion, which in my view is the true spirit upon which this city is founded."
"As I immersed myself in painting San Francisco, with its quaint buildings, busy streets, and serene blue bay, I found myself even more amazed by this particular scene: the historical and contemporary parts of the city, each in such contrast to the other, coexist harmoniously in the windswept fog. As I painted, I suddenly understood that no matter how the world changes, life will continue, and the beauty our hearts witness will never fade."
"This painting captures my impression of San Francisco through a little narrative: two puppies have long ago given up hope of their owner's, their captain's, return from a 'voyage' to the night. Having stared above the bank until their necks ache, they turn their attention to the water, only to notice a clever little bird that surely knows behind which window, into which flicker of candlelight, their captain has vanished. But, of course, the bird will not reveal the captain's secret. Who can say that there aren't many such stories taking place in the shadow of quaint buildings, behind wisps of fog, or in the golden pool of street lights? In my mind, a myriad of such fairytale moments enlivens this romantic town."
GOLDEN COAST SERIES
"I was born in a small town that sea winds could never reach; later, I lived on the snowcapped Tibetan Plateau. So the first time I laid eyes on the ocean, it was like pulling back the curtain of my soul -- I gazed in wonder at the stunning curves of the coastline, the twinkling stars reflected on the dark water, a boat swaying with the breeze. The view inspired one dream after another ... Living by the ocean now, I find I cannot stop myself from reaching for my brushes, and, with great joy, putting them to canvas. I want to share this joy with everyone who, like me, loves to dream." ---Cao Yong
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