Zhuang Hong Yi was born in China in 1962. The flower motif dominates Zhuang Hong Yi’s work – a significant image in Chinese culture which carries countless meanings and emotions yet with equally strong associations with the Netherlands, world-famous for its flowers – and he works patiently and religiously on this subject year-after-year, intricately crafting his works with care and forethought. Zhuang Hong Yi’s well-known and highly collectable Flowerbeds are crafted from delicate pieces of painted rice paper, which he has bent and folded into hundreds of tiny buds, creating seductive and tactile works.
In his latest collection, Zhuang Hong Yi has developed his technique from working with a single uniform colour to creating dual and triple coloured works that subtlety shift from one dominant colour to another as you move your body and eyes from one side of the work to the other, adding movement and a visual tactilness to the works. Utilizing the traditional Chinese material of rice paper, the works represent Chinese aesthetics, meditations on colour, nature and form, with an emphasis on technique and uniformity. His focus and handling of the material are all lessons adopted from the Sichuan College of Fine Arts, where he first studied.
Zhuang Hong Yi’s painted canvases bear the influence of Impressionism and other Western artistic practices. Working with a freedom of style, as if liberated from his native country’s well-established artistic traditions and boundaries, his impasto strokes of daring, bright colours are expressive and unconfined. Colours melt together and paint drips down the canvas, seeping over a collage of delicate unfolded rice paper flowers. The sculptural three-dimensionality of the artworks makes them both painting and object. Messiness, variety and chance are all embraced and are drawing the viewer in, encouraging contemplation as they immerse us in a tapestry of colour and form.
Contemporary artist Zhuang Hong Yi is based in the Netherlands but was brought up in China. It is this combination of Chinese background and European influence that define Zhuang Hong Yi’s work. Embracing his present without losing his past, he attempts to define a sense of self that exists between the two. Zhuang Hong Yi enacts this personal struggle visually, vacillating between phases of controlled planning, emotional gesture and careful editing, creating works that represent beauty, sophistication and perfection.
Zhuang Hong Yi studied at the Sichuan College of Fine Arts in Chongqing in China and perfected his technique at the Minerva Academy in Groningen in the Netherlands. He has exhibited throughout Europe and China. His works are held in numerous esteemed public and private collections worldwide and has been the subject of multiple museum exhibitions at Groninger Museum in the Netherlands.