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Who is Zhuang Hong Yi?

Born in Sichuan Province, Zhuang Hong Yi is considered to be one of the most influential Chinese artists working today. Noted, according to his website, for its “bold color schemes and sophisticated, reoccurring, and precise floral motifs that symbolize a universal symbol of prosperity and optimism”, Zhuang’s work has achieved International recognition over the past several decades.


Career

Background in Chinese Art

In an interview with Donnalynn Patakos in Portray, the artist said: “There has not been an exact point in my life since I started to make art, as I always like[d] drawing and making things since I was a kid. But I would say that I really started to get serious with art at the age of 20 when I started to study at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 1982.”


Zhuang Hong Yi's European Influence


Zhuang moved to the Netherlands in 1992, enrolling in the Minerva Art Academy. “I always knew about the famous Dutch artists such as Rembrandt, Mondriaan, and Van Gogh, so I saw the Netherlands as a very good place to start my career as a professional artist.”

According to a 2016 profile in Luxuo: “Transitioning from the uniformity and technique of his past training in Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, where he focused on traditional skills such as printing techniques like wood carvings, to the new found freedom of expression he achieved in Europe presented a challenge for the artist.”


The artist stated in an interview in Design Scene: “I think the essential influences might have been impressionists such as Monet. In their own ways, they were the epitome of this romantic notion that I chase in both life and art. Impressionism left me with the concept of the importance of observation and the gravity of raw naked beauty and emotion. But there have been many artists, and many people in general, that have mattered throughout the process of getting to where I am today. Van Gogh’s post-impressionism has left its mark as much as Vermeer’s study of light and darkness. There are so many levels of influence. Bits and pieces of thousands of faces and works of art are on every canvas that I make my own. From Western to Oriental art, from historical to contemporary art, there is no one artist that I appreciate the most.”


Early Works


According to the artist: “I sold my first painting in 1986 in China to an American professor. He bought it during an exhibition that was organized by the Art Institute of Sichuan.”

Zhuang’s first showed his work in the West in 1993 at the Gallery Waalkens in Finsterwolde in The Netherlands, and he received another notable exhibition in France at Gallery Patrick Gaultier in Quimper. Popular early works include the “‘Head’ series of portraits that feature “an abstracted shape of a head on a large canvas”.


Around 2005, Zhuang began producing the flower field works for which he is most famous. As he told Portray: “My art from when I first came to Holland is very different from now. At the first stage, the flower was not represented at all in my art. Eventually, I started to use them here and there in my paintings and over the years my paintings became flowerbeds. So it is hard to say which piece was officially the first flowerbed piece. I do remember a show I did with a gallery in Belgium, during which I exhibited only flowerbeds for the first time. It was a very successful exhibition, which of course made me very happy and glad as I put a lot of effort not only in creating the flowerbeds but mostly in creating the idea of a flowerbed. At that point, I realized that I was onto something special.”




Techniques and Materials

Artistic Practices and Traditions

Again, in the artist’s own words from Portray: “When you think of it, the idea is quite simple; creating an artwork that changes color. But it was only during the last couple of years of my more [than] 30 years career as an artist during which I really discovered it. And the idea certainly did not just pop into my head. The color-changing flowerbeds gradually became what they are now throughout many years of making them. I discovered new things one step at a time and all the new discoveries piling up have led to the result you see now. Even now, I am constantly discovering new things and I always strive to make the paintings better than they are at the moment. It is a never-ending journey. The inner dialogue would be patience and discipline.”


Crafting Flowers from Rice Paper


As Zhuang told Design Scene: “The flowerbeds are made of many layers of folded rice paper. Rice paper is very vulnerable and every single kind of flower demands a different treatment. There’s different ways in folding them and coloring them until they look exactly like they’re supposed to do, like I want them to. I like to think that tending to my work is similar to tending to an actual flower garden sometimes. It takes time, patience, and care.”


Emphasis on Technique and Meditations on Color


On his website, Zhuang reveals some of the secrets of his techniques, specifically regarding the creation of his flowerbed paintings: “Zhuang Hong-yi's flowerbed compositions epitomize his passion for vibrant hues and boundless creativity. Utilizing a traditional technique originating from northern China, rice-paper flowers are printed, and then rendered sturdy through individual cutting and color application. Exhibiting remarkable patience and craftsmanship, the rice-paper flowers are meticulously folded into their characteristic tulip or lotus forms and subsequently arranged within the flowerbed one by one. In executing these elaborate procedures and employing distinctive techniques, Zhuang is ably supported by a skilled team who follow his creative vision. The completed pieces are embellished with a final layer of complex color combinations, which imbues the flowerbeds with an ever-evolving visual experience that shifts according to the viewer's perspective; this culminates in Zhuang Hong yi's worldly celebrated color-changing effect.”


Dominant Colors in His Work


Zhuang’s works utilize colors across the spectrum and frequently align colors that exist side by side on the “color wheel”. It is this gradual gradation of hue change that enables the effect of his works changing color as the observer moves around them.

According to the artist’s profile with the Laure Rathe Gallery: “Zhuang has developed his technique from working with a single uniform color to creating dual- and multiple-colored works that subtly shift from one dominant color to another as you move your body and eyes from one side of the work to the other, adding movement, contrast, and surprise to the works. Using the traditional Chinese material of rice paper, the works represent Chinese aesthetics, meditations on color, nature, and form, whilst the emphasis on technique and uniformity and the focus on his handling of material are all lessons adopted from the Sichuan College of Fine Arts, where he first studied.”


Kaiser Gallery Cologne


Artnet said of the artist’s 2022 exhibit, “In Bloom”: “Chinese artist Zhuang Hong Yi is famed for his mesmerizing, intricate “Flower Field” series of paintings. These almost psychedelic and sculptural paintings are the artist’s contemporary homage to the ancient Chinese flower painting art. Zhuang recently celebrated his 60th birthday and, to mark the occasion, Cologne’s Galerie Martina Kaiser is hosting “In Bloom”, an exhibition of the artist’s recent paintings….Zhuang’s paintings are composed of relief-like folds of paper painted in kaleidoscopic colors; the hypnotic works seem to change their hues as the viewer shifts their perspective. In this current exhibition, the artist is particularly focused on representations of cherry blossoms. In these works, Zhuang weaves twigs, branches, and blossoms into the three-dimensional structures of his paintings, while his dramatic manipulation of color seems to capture the metamorphosis of these spring blooms.”


Exhibition History


Compiled below is a list of Zhuang Hong Yi’s solo and group exhibitions, compiled from the artist’s website:

2023

HOFA Gallery | London | United Kingdom | Sequence

RedSea Gallery | Singapore | Singapore | Iridescence

2022

Leonhard Gallery | Antwerp | Belgium | Blossom of Color

Kunsthalle Messmer | Riegel am Kaiserstuhl | Germany | Rendezvous of Illusions Laura Rathe Fine Art | Texas | USA | Color Reign

Galerie LeRoyer | Toronto | Canada | Dusk until Dawn

Etienne Gallery | Oisterwijk | Netherlands | De Blossom Serie

SmithDavidson Gallery | Amsterdam | Netherlands | Energize

HOFA Gallery | London | United Kingdom | Equinox

SmithDavidson Gallery | Mexico City | Mexico

Martina Kaiser Gallery | Cologne | Germany | In Bloom

Absolute Art Gallery | Knokke | Belgium | 60 Years - Celebrating A Life of Creativity


2021

Etienne Gallery | Oisterwijk | Netherlands

REDSEA Gallery | Block 9 Dempsey Road | Singapore

Erarta Musuem | Saint Petersburg | Russia | Inflorescene

HOFA Gallery | London | UK | Essence

Absolute Art Gallery | Knokke | Belgium | Flower Fields

Laura Rathe Fine Art | Dallas | USA | Kaleidoscope

Venet Haus Galerie | Ulm | Germany | Lux of Lumen

Galerie LeRoyer | Montréal | Canada | Focus

Impulse Gallery | Switzerland | Blossom

2020

Galerie LeRoyer | Montréal | Canada | REFLOURISH

HOFA Gallery | London | UK | NOVA

Laura Rathe Fine Art | Dallas | USA | Color fields

Laura Rathe Fine Art | Houston | USA | Color fields

Martina Kaiser Gallery | Cologne | Germany | Art Couples

Martina Kaiser Gallery | Cologne | Germany | Art Karlsruhe Smith Davidson Gallery | Amsterdam | Netherlands | In Bloom II Smith Davidson Gallery | Mexico City | Mexico | One Unique Masterpiece Smith Davidson Gallery | Miami | USA | In Bloom I

2019

Absolute Art Gallery | Knokke | Belgium

Galerie LeRoyer | Montréal | Canada | BLOOM

HOFA Gallery | Los Angeles | USA

Martina Kaiser Gallery | Cologne | Germany

Museum Black Tulip | Lisse | The Netherlands

Museum Pinakothek der Moderna | Munich | Germany | Charity Auction Opera Gallery | New York City | USA

Opera Gallery | Seoul | South Korea

Smudajescheck Gallery | Munich | Germany

Unit London | London | UK | EARTH

XU Gallery | Shanghai | China | East of the East

2018

Etienne Gallery | Oisterwijk | Netherlands

HOFA Gallery | London | UK

Laura Rathe Fine Art | Dallas | USA

Laura Rathe Fine Art | Houston | USA

Liquid Art System | Capri | IT

Opera Gallery | Dubai | UAE

Smith Davidson Gallery | Amsterdam | Netherlands | Summer Solo Exhibition Ulm Museum | Ulm | Germany | Zhuang Hong-yi Flowerbeds


2017

Absolute Art Gallery | Bruges | Belgium

Etienne Gallery | Oisterwijk | Netherlands

Martina Kaiser Gallery | Cologne | Germany

Redsea Gallery | Singapore | Singapore

Piermarq Gallery | Sydney | Australia

Laura Rathe Fine Art | Dallas | USA

Opera Gallery | Paris | France

Opera Gallery | Hong Kong | China

2016

Absolute Art Gallery | Knokke | Belgium

Etienne Gallery | Oisterwijk | Netherlands

Laura Rathe Fine Art | Houston | USA

Piermarq Gallery | Melbourne | Australia

Redsea Gallery | Singapore | Singapore

2015

Absolute Art Gallery | Bruges | Belgium

Galerie LeRoyer | Montréal | Canada

Martina Kaiser Gallery | Cologne | Germany

Metropolitan Gallery | Hamburg | Gemrnay

Modus Gallery | Paris | France

Redsea Gallery | Singapore | Singapore

Unit London | London | UK | RAW

Unix Gallery | New York | USA


2014

Absolute Art Gallery | Bruges | Belgium

Absolute Art Gallery | Knokke | Belgium

Beida Saikelie Museum | Beijing | China

Etienne Gallery | Oisterwijk | The Netherlands

Hua Gallery | London | UK

The House of Luxury | Londen | UK

2013

Found Museum | Beijing | China

Galeriezur Grünen Tür | Uznach | Switzerland

Gallery Leslie Smith | Amsterdam | The Netherlands | Colors of Nature Houses of Art | Marbella | Spain | The Art of Finding Art

Martina Kaiser Gallery | Cologne | Germany

M-House | Shanghai | China

Museum de Oude Wolden | Groningen | The Netherlands | Back to Groningen White Room Art System | Capri | Italy

2012

Aria Art gallery | Florence | Italy

Galerie Terminus | München | Germany.

Gallery Leslie Smith | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

2011

Gallery Roger Katwijk | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

Gallery Seasons | The Hague | The Netherlands

White Room Art System | Positano | Italy


2010

Galerie Ralph Schriever | Köln | Germany

Keszler Gallery | New York | USA

Museum Zoetermeer | Zoetermeer | The Netherlands

Robinsons Art Gallery | Knokke | Belgium

2009

C Space Gallery | BeiJing | China

Galerie Ralph Schriever | Köln | Germany

Gallery Seasons | The Hague | The Netherlands Gallery Ralph Schriever | Düsseldorf | Germany Gallery Roger Katwijk | Amsterdam | The Netherlands Houses of Art | Marbella | Spain

Keszler Gallery | New York | USA

2008

Gallery Krijger Katwijk | Amsterdam | The Netherlands Gallery Majke Hüsstege | Den Bosch | The Netherlands

2007

Groninger Museum | Groningen | The Netherlands Gallery Seasons | The Hague | The Netherlands Osage Gallery | Hong Kong | China

You Gallery | Beijing | China

2006

Gallery Majke Hüsstege | Den Bosch | The Netherlands Gallery Willem Kersboom | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

2005

Gallery ArtiCapeli | Den Bosch | The Netherlands Gallery Krijger Katwijk | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

2004

Gallery Le Besset | St.Jeure d’Anaure | France Gallery Vrij Academie | The Hague | The Netherlands

2003

Art Contemporary Century | Dordrecht | The Netherlands Gallery Arti Capelli | Den Bosch | The Netherlands Gallery Beeld & Aambeeld | Enschede | The Netherlands Gallery Krijger Katwijk | Amsterdam | The Netherlands Gallery Le Besset | St.Jeure d’Andaure | France Gallery Nanky de Vreeze | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

2002

De Boterhal | Hoorn | The Netherlands

2001

Foundation Studio ’92 | Eext | The Netherlands | Het Traject Gallery Beeld & Aambeeld | Enschede | The Netherlands Gallery Cum Laude | Mol | Belgium

OCBK | Zwolle | The Netherlands

Stedelijk Museum | Zwolle | The Netherlands

The Centre for Contemporary Art | Deventer | The Netherlands


2000

Gallery Nanky de Vreeze | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

1999

Foundation de Boer Waalkens | Finsterwolde | The Netherlands

Gallery Beeld & Aambeeld | Enschede | The Netherlands

Groninger Museum | Groningen | The Netherlands

1998

Gallery Anderwereld | Groningen | The Netherlands

1997

Gallery Anderwereld | Groningen | The Netherlands

Gallery Nanky de Vreeze | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

Gallery Patrick Gaultier | Quimper | France

Gallery Waalkens | Finsterwolde | The Netherlands

1996

Gallery Waalkens | Finsterwolde | The Netherlands

1993

Gallery Waalkens | Finsterwolde | The Netherlands

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2023

Impulse Gallery | Lucerne | Switzerland | Flowers, fruis, landscapes, and other Memories


2021

Impulse Gallery | Lucerne | Switzerland | Impulse

Smith Davidson Gallery | Miami | USA | Art Miami

Bel-Air Fine-Art| Miami | USA | Art Miami

Smith Davidson Gallery | Amsterdam | The Netherlands | PAN

Galerie Martina Kaiser | Cologne | Germany | Art Cologne

Galerie Bartoux | Paris | France | Art Must Go On

Galerie Bartoux | Honfleur | France | 20th Artistic Edition

Laura Rathe Fine Art | Texas | USA | The Little Things

2019

Art Miami | Miami | USA

Expo Chicago | Chicago | USA

Investec Art Fair | Cape Town | South Africa

PAN Amsterdam | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

Sydney Contemporary | Sydney | Australia

Museum Villa Rot | Burgrieden | Germany

2018

Art Market Hamptons | Bridgehampton | USA

Art Miami | Miami | USA

Expo Chicago | Chicago | USA

Investec Art Fair | Cape Town | South Africa

Museum Villa Rot | Burgrieden | Germany

Opera Gallery | Monaco | Monaco | The Art of Matter, New Arts of Asia PAN Amsterdam | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

Sydney Contemporary | Sydney | Australia


2017

Art Busan | Seoul | South Korea

Art Hong Kong | Hongkong | China

Art Market San Francisco | San Francisco | USA

Art on paper | New York | USA

Boca Raton | Miami | USA

Boston International Fine Art | Boston | USA

Context Art Miami | Miami | USA

Hampton Art Fair | Hampton | USA

PAN Amsterdam | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

Pulse Art Miami | Miami | USA

Sofa Chicago | Chicago | USA

2016

Art Busan | Seoul | South Korea

Art Miami | Miami | USA

Art New York | New York | USA

Art Stage | Singapore | Singapore

Art Up | Lille | France

Context Art Miami | Miami | USA

PAN Amsterdam | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

Rarity Gallery | Mykonos | Greece

2015

Armory Art | New York | USA

Art Miami | Miami | USA

Art Stage | Singapore | Singapore

Art Up | Lille | France

LXRY | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

PAN Amsterdam | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

TEFAF | Maastricht | The Netherlands

UNIX Gallery | New York | USA

Art Miami | Miami | USA


2014

Art Miami | Miami | USA

Art Monaco | Monaco | Monaco

Art 14 | London | UK

Fusion Convergence | T-Museum | Hangzhou | China PAN Amsterdam | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

Scope Miami | Miami | USA

TEFAF | Maastricht | The Netherlands

Xing Jiang Biennale | Tian Ren He Yi Art Museum | Xing Jiang | China

2013

Art Fair Chicago | Chicago | USA

Art Miami | Miami | USA

Art Palm Beach | Miami | USA

Fine Art Asia Fair | Hongkong | China

TEFAF | Maastricht | The Netherlands

Venice Biennale | Venice | Italy

2012

Art Miami | Miami | USA

Art Palm Beach | Miami | USA

PAN Amsterdam | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

TEFAF | Maastricht | The Netherlands

Zürich Art Fair | Zürich | Switzerland

2011

Art Miami | Miami | USA

Art Palm Beach | Miami | USA

2009

Art Basel Scope | Basel | Switzerland

Art Hampton’s | New York | USA

Art Hong Kong | Hong Kong | China

Yuang Gong Museum | Shanghai | China

798 | Beijing | China

2007

Guangzhou Museum | Guangzhou | China

2001

Chengdu Biennale | Chengdu | China

1999

Kunsthal Rotterdam | Rotterdam | The Netherlands

1997

Stichting de Boer Waalkens | Finsterwolde | The Netherlands


References

zhuanghongyi.com

Artist Website

designscene.net

“ART SCENE: “Interview With Artist Zhuang Hong Yi”

October 2, 2020

portraymag.com

“Interview: Zhuang Hong Yi”

Donnalynn Patakos

luxuo.com

Art Republik Profile: “Artist Zuhauf Hong Yi”

Tyen Fong

February 14, 2016

ariaartgallery.com

Artist Biography: Zhuang Hong Yi

laurarathe.com

Artist Profile: Zhuang Hong Yi

artnet.com

“Spotlight: Chinese Artist Zhuang Hong Yi’s Riotously Colorful ‘Flower Field’ Paintings Are an Ode to the “Cherry Blossom”

May 11, 2022


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1 Comment


Nelson Santini
Nelson Santini
Nov 04, 2023

Truly beautiful art form! I remember (long time ago) a big trend in the 70’s, where some of the #Creatives in my family would make silk flowers, resembling those here made by the artist in rice paper form. Excellent share!!! Thanks for the article!

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