Hong Zhu An’s paintings are colour abstractions beyond the boundaries of both Eastern and Western art.  Chinese calligraphy, done in a regular or cursive script, is superimposed upon layers of thin washes of different hues.  While maintaining the calligraphy’s alignment, Hong has painted his words in different sizes, various thicknesses or sometimes in one continuous line to facilitate spatial disproportion. The result is a three-dimensional quality, which, unlike the  traditional approach, retreats and forges through the painted surfaces. 


The Color of Memory

11 May - 2 June 2001 New York

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Fish
51 x 52 cm, 2000
EO0029

Underneath Hong’s calligraphy are layers of ink washes treated with textural strokes  arranged parallel to each other.  The effect resembles Mark Rothko’s Colour Field painting, however Hong’s are much more substantial and subtle.  As well, his colour fields are not entirely formless, but rather they are imbedded with imaginative silhouettes veiled within the flatness of the colouration. Texture is built up by applying layers of thin ink washes thereby enhancing the heaviness of the colour field.  In fact, the strong two dimensional quality of the colour field is a stark contrast to the three dimensional quality of the calligraphy, and Hong’s skilful combination of the two gives his painting a sense of poeticism, aspiration and other contemplative qualities that mark his signature style.  
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