Impressions of the Wild
Artist Van Wangye is passionate about the natural world and hopes his work will make a difference for the planet by furthering wildlife conservation efforts and scientific education.
01 Title: Price of Greed | Media: Mixed | Description: A clamorous reed warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus) ignores a big fat juicy caterpillar of Allancastria louristana in pursuit of a “spider”, which turns out to be the tail of the spider-tailed horned viper (Pseudocerastes urarachnoides), a viper species discovered in 2006. Both the viper and the caterpillar are endemic to western Iran whereas the warbler is a migrant bird.
02 Title: Looking for Land | Media: Colour pencil and pencil | Description: A polar bear trapped on a small ice sheet was looking for thicker ice to move to. Polar bears are threatened not just by climate change but also trophy hunting.
03 Title: Spotted Seal mother and pup | Media: Mixed | Description: Spotted seals (Phoca largha) are inhabitants of arctic or sub-arctic waters. They are a migratory species. Both Canada and China are huge markets for seal skin and penis (for medicine). Sadly, the latter is sold in Chinese medical halls in Singapore.
04 Title: Diligent Father | Media: Mixed media with coffee | Description: A dominant male Indian gavial (Gavialis gangeticus) guards his hatchlings – a rare behaviour among crocodilian species. The Indian gavial is endemic to India and listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List.
06 Title: Gargoyle Gecko | Media: Mixed | Description: Endemic in New Caledonia, the New Caledonian Bumpy Gecko (Rhacodactylus auriculatus) is one of the rarest species of gecko. It has a relatively small natural range and is threatened by deforestation. But captive breeding, together with the pet trade, help restore the population of this species.
07 Title: Philippine Crocodile | Media: Colour pencil | Description: Endemic species to Philippines, hence got its common name. (Crocodylus mindorensis) IUCN status criticially endangered. Its perhaps the most severely threatened crocodile species in the world.
08 Title: Tibetan Antelope | Media: Colour pencil | Description: Not many people outside the TCM (traditonal Chinese medicine) industry know that Tibetan antelope antlers were sometimes used to subsitute Saiga Antelope’s antlers in antler’s essence drink. Antlers of older Tibetan antelopes are too hard, long and dry, so younger adults are usually targeted for the TCM market. Tibetan antelopes are also poached for their fleece.
Singaporean Van Wangye Shiming is a self-taught award-winning wildlife/ science illustrator. He’s also a graphic designer, art teacher and conservationist. His attention to detail, scientific accurancy and ability to portray subjects in a dynamic way are a testament to his passion for the natural world. Wangye’s art is collected or commissioned worldwide by art collectors, reptile hobbyists, politicians and nature lovers and is archived in Chiricahua Desert Museum in Rodeo, USA. He had also worked for various wildlife conservation societies worldwide: WWF Thailand, Nature Society Singapore, Herpetological Conservation International (HCI), Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre, Ocean Geographic Society and more. He hopes his work will make a difference for the planet by furthering wildlife conservation efforts and scientific education.