Ling says: I was born in Nanjing, China and was sent to live in a rural village with my grandparents. I still remember feeding a dozen chickens every morning, scraping off sunflower seeds in the fields, and devouring sliced watermelon under the tree canopies on many summer afternoons. Since then, however, China has transformed so much that the world I inhabited as a child belongs to a bygone era. As an artist, I wish to capture the vanishing beauty onto my sketchbook in the most spontaneous way. Therefore, when I was visiting Beijing, I did a series of watercolor paintings of "Hutong", the traditional courtyard residences. The hutongs reflect the culture of grassroots Beijingers, residential neighborhoods from the heart of Old Beijing. Since the mid-20th century, the number of Beijing hutongs has dropped dramatically as they are demolished to make way for new roads and buildings.