Shanghai-Based Artist Memorializes Asia’s Old Storefronts In Watercolor And Ink

A lot of tourists use a camera to capture the areas they visit, but Shanghai-based artist Zhifang Shi From Japan, the gifted artist, travels around Asia, keeping notes of old storefronts and street corners in his sketchbook.

Shi paints en plein air, instantly catching brief moments with loose, gestural line work. His gentle watercolor washes add thickness, bringing each scene to life and transporting the viewer to the artist's colorful urban scenes. Traditional stores exude warm, welcoming glows from their windows, and historical neighborhood streets feature a mess of old houses, road signs, and lanterns. Shi is understanding of the fact that a number of the small shop fronts and houses he depicts might not be around for much longer. His significant urban sketches memorialize these family businesses and traditional houses, letting them live on forever through his artwork.