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Breathe by yuumei Breathe by yuumei



This painting is inspired by my recent trip to China. Growing up there I always had poor health and would cough up a lot of phlegm, and every time I went back I would bring a smog mask. This time I forgot to pack mine, so the first few days back I thought I could just tough it out. I ended up developing a fever, coughing none stop, and my lungs burned so much.

As a child I didn't even notice the pain because I was so used to it, but now I couldn't even survive a few days. My SO who went with me also developed headaches and fever. Luckily we got masks a few days later and recovered. During the trip, we also visited the Giant Panda Breeding Center in Chengdu, and the area was covered in plants and bamboo. The better air quality was so noticeably better that I wish I could have just covered my mouth with those plants. 
After coming back to the US, I had art block and repainted this idea many times. Initially I wanted to add the city and other people in the background, but it didn't work with the composition. I ended up scrapping everything 5 times before using zemotion 's beautiful photos as a reference point to finish this. I still like my old idea of showing the city covered in smog, so maybe I'll go back and paint that as well sometime. 
It's been a bittersweet experience visiting my homeland again after so many years. So much has improved yet so much has worsened. I hope one day the smog will clear and the censorship will lighten, but unfortunately I don't see that happening very soon. 

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:icongrendelkin:
Grendelkin Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
*applauds*
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:iconmoonshinenight1:
Moonshinenight1 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
AmazingKitty love [f2u] [icon] 
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:iconilikethepixiesmore:
ILikeThePixiesMore Featured By Owner 5 days ago
great eyes great style!
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:iconlugia20711:
Lugia20711 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Amazing work!
Reply
:iconookayami1:
Ookayami1 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2018  New Deviant Student Digital Artist
nice picture !
Reply
:iconandychan82:
andychan82 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
A picture means a thousand words... utterly beautiful
Reply
:iconpahndablac:
pahndablac Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
This is sooooo good! Great work on this!!
Reply
:iconnyuukatsumi:
Nyuukatsumi Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2018  Professional General Artist
This is beautiful
Reply
:icony-phil:
Y-Phil Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wonderful :heart:
Reply
:iconpampd:
pampd Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Plants can do a lot of change since you know, trees do help produce oxygen and air is better at areas with more trees. All cities should have more green areas especially the heavily polluted ones to help heal the enviroment. Lovely piece as always!
Reply
:iconkaj420360:
KAJ420360 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2018
Breathtaking!!!!
Reply
:iconxiao-lie:
Xiao-Lie Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2018
your art is amazing!! 
Reply
:iconunsuspicious-pizza:
Unsuspicious-Pizza Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautiful work! Tini Peach Rose 
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:iconaycamo:
aycamo Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2018  Student
I hope you are feeling better !
Amazing work as always
Reply
:icondesmodius:
Desmodius Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Amazing work!
Reply
:iconblackvegetable:
Blackvegetable Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2018
That's quite the reason for this amazing artwork! :wow:

Then again, I never had a liking to smog and cigarettes!
Reply
:iconrdunlao:
RDunLao Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I cant believe this world is becoming something that makes us think of those masks will be necessary someday... I saw and read info about contamination and makes me really sad about our future.
Reply
:icongreatfrosthawk:
GreatFrostHawk Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2018  Student General Artist
I had an idea of what this could be about.
I've recently bought about... 10+ of these masks myself but have felt self-conscious of wearing them in the US in my area.
Reply
:iconmegarezfan:
MegaRezfan Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
That's very sad China is that bad, I really like this piece tho.
Reply
:icondeaddancers:
DeadDancers Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So very striking
Reply
:iconthunder-b:
Thunder-B Featured By Owner Edited Jun 3, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Amazing drawing, sad story :'( I know how you feel, I'm allergic too.

Llama Emoji-08 (Crying) [V1] 
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:iconlightythedreamer:
Lightythedreamer Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Breath taking and so deep into a huge problem...
Reply
:iconeriaricheria:
Eriaricheria Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
amazing! 
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:icondani-castro:
Dani-Castro Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2018
BRUTAL
Reply
:iconatorife:
atorife Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2018  Hobbyist
I very love this idea of yours - and the story behind it, which is very sad, yet I love that you are inspired by it, and that you show it to the world - probably not only here on deviantart, but to your surroundings in USA as well.

I am studying protection and creation of nature at university, so it always makes me sad, how people try their best to keep the planet clean and wonderful, yet there are other people who do just the opposite and so all those efforts are kind of in vain. But I keep telling myself it's not pointless, that even the smallest impact matters, and if nothing else, at least I myself will feel good from it.
Reply
:iconlucker19:
Lucker19 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2018
just one word Beautiful
Reply
:iconimaginedmoments:
ImaginedMoments Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Beautiful work and great concept :heart:
Reply
:iconaurielphoenix:
AurielPhoenix Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2018  New Deviant Student Digital Artist
What a beautiful image! Being an allergic I can truly relate to this.. Thank you for posting this!
Reply
:iconbiohazard22791:
biohazard22791 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2018
When I saw the preview of this image I had an idea of what the story behind this was. 

I live in NYC and I spend a good enough time in the subways. Not the same intensity as the smog you've experienced. 

I took a trip upstate, far away from the city, and the air was just different, clear, like I had a glass of clean water. 

It was only for a few hours. Those hours were more than enough to appreciate clean air.
Reply
:iconspookythepanda:
SpookyThePanda Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow there's so much meaning to this! Amazing work! So sorry you gotten sick
Reply
:iconwallyxxx:
WallyXXX Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
This is crazy awesome, I love it.
Reply
:iconreinakuran99:
ReinaKuran99 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018
Simply amazing!!♡♡
Reply
:iconcjdunham:
cjDunham Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018
Love the inspiration and concept. Thank you for sharing!
Reply
:icontarofying:
tarofying Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wew leaves as mask, interesting
Reply
:iconkaze26:
kaze26 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018
Beautiful
Reply
:iconk00k3y:
k00k3y Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018
This is an awesome design and concept!
Reply
:icon03alicia:
03Alicia Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018  Student
This is wonderful.Heart   
Reply
:iconpaladinpainter:
PaladinPainter Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
:happybounce:  Gorgeous

You did great there Cat nods
Reply
:iconkrystalpanda:
KrystalPanda Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
it's beautiful! 
Reply
:iconakephal:
Akephal Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Where can I buy this?
Reply
:iconkatarina-kirishiki:
Katarina-Kirishiki Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
love those monchrome feeling where just the plants are in some vibrant color ♥
Reply
:iconlucyanna1:
LucYanna1 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018  New Deviant
Hello , I'm Lucy , I really loved your painting so much.
But can you do a one like this for me : cuon.io/FyQIGwgS
And I will pay for that :).
Reply
:iconizzyfizzy23:
izzyfizzy23 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018  Student Digital Artist
I love the message you share with your art, you're amazing
Reply
:icondeadcobra:
DeadCobra Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018
Its really nice
Reply
:iconmusou-enrai:
Musou-Enrai Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018  Hobbyist
That may sound a bit silly but can't anybody think of a giant vacuum machine that would suck the air around, clean it, removing the fine bad particles, and return it back into the atmosphere?
Reply
:iconsbtle:
sbtle Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018  New Deviant
It exists, and is called an air purifier. Most of the people I've talked to from smoggy places have one.

They're only used indoors though - can't really clean an entire city.
Reply
:iconmusou-enrai:
Musou-Enrai Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2018  Hobbyist
I see. I just found this:
www.scmp.com/news/china/societ…

It's good to know that actions are being taken.
Reply
:iconmaxerikson:
MaxErikson Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018
It'll happen. It may not be soon, but it will happen.
Reply
:iconkuragari1988:
Kuragari1988 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That image looks so cool and peaceful and then I read the description. It was a really shocking moment... ._."
Reply
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Submitted on
June 1
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