Characterised by his daringly-bold palette, Zhuang’s meticulously crafted floral artworks reflect the artist’s Chinese heritage, while integrating Western influences. Zhuang works in two dominant, yet distinct mediums, creating what can best be described as three-dimensional paintings, which change colour depending on angle they are viewed from. Zhuang also creates sculptures and objects from wood, porcelain, and metals.
Considered one of China’s most influential artists working today, Zhuang’s style is refreshingly unconfined and expressive. His signature ‘Flowerbed’ works, which are composed of painstakingly folded rice paper and a mixture of pigment, oil and acrylic paints, appear to bloom from the walls. The sculptural three- dimensionality of his densely-planted canvases read as both objects and paintings. In his landscapes, Zhuang adopts a more traditional painterly approach, depicting vibrant vistas through a combination of gestural impasto and folded rice paper. Memory and energy are critical themes in Zhuang’s artwork, as are his observations of nature, he notes, “over the last three years I look to the sunsets and I go to different countries to see the real landscapes, the light and the movement.”
Zhuang’s artworks connect and communicate his cross-cultural experiences and environments. Born in Sichuan Province, China, Zhuang moved to the Netherlands in the 1990s and now works and lives between Rotterdam and Beijing. The blooming floral motifs recurrent in his work, whether lotus, chrysanthemum or tulip-inspired, carry associations of metaphysical purity, strength and good chi according to Chinese culture and national associations of growth and prosperity from the Netherlands. Zhuang’s commitment to floral motifs also reflects his love of nature and his environmental concerns, such as the rampant urbanisation in China, the ferocious plundering of natural resources and depopulation of rural Chinese communities.
Zhuang religiously works on this subject year after year, however, the result is not repetitive, but demonstrates his continuous refinement and experimentation between raw emotional expressions and precisely planned artistry. Zhuang describes, “I give energy to the painting, and the painting reacts by giving me new energy and inspiration.” His varying colours, dimensions and subjects are united in their undulating beauty, sophistication and craftsmanship.
Zhuang Hong Yi has achieved international acclaim. His sculptural paintings have featured in over thirty solo exhibitions and group shows worldwide including the Found Museum in Beijing, China, the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands and in Italy at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. Zhuang studied at the Sichuan College of Fine Arts in China and continued his education in Europe at the Minerva Academy in the Netherlands.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Zhuang Hong Yi
Born in Sichuan, China in 1962, Zhuang went on to study at the Sichuan College of Fine Arts in China and the Minerva Academy in the Netherlands. The artist now lives and works between The Netherlands and Beijing. Zhuang Hong Yi has exhibited throughout Europe, America, and Asia. His work is held in numerous esteemed public and private collections worldwide and has been the subject of multiple museum exhibitions.
About Unit London
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