Bold images of lotus ponds, dense with giant leaves in seductive brown and black, cradling lotus blossoms in bright red, are among the specialties of Wang Mansheng. The present vertical scroll is a departure from the horizontal formats he normally uses for this subject, such as those now gracing the Baltimore Museum of Art and private collections as well. The image here successfully and strikingly conveys both the organic nature of the subject and the compelling abstract qualities of color and form. Mansheng does not tire in experimenting with formats and materials, including various types of ink and paper, and, in the present painting, ink that the artist made from burnt walnut shells to produce the warm brown color that provides counterpoint to the traditional black ink and the vibrant red. Wang Mansheng came from humble beginnings in Taiyuan, Shanxi province where he began a study of Chinese calligraphy and painting at the age of seven, becoming a refuge for the young teenager during the Cultural Revolution. He entered Fudan University in Shanghai and studied classical Chinese literature and painting. After graduation in 1985 from Fudan University in Shanghai, he worked at China Central Television in Beijing, producing documentaries on the art and culture of China and Tibet. In 1996 he immigrated to the United States and began life as an artist and today lives an immensely creative but relatively quiet life with his family in the Hudson River Valley outside of New York City.