"When I left, there was a field where all these skyscrapers now stand; when I returned, there were no more fields, no more peasants, nothing. It was a totally different city. Why have I waited until now to paint it? Because I wanted to wait until I was excited by it. The city and the world have changed. It's both a memory and the present" (Yan Peiming quoted in M. Nuridsany, China Art Now, Paris 2004, p. 43).