Born in Beijing in 1945, Hu Yongkai attended the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts. From 1964 to 1985 he served as an art director at the Shanghai Animation Film Studio. He was a lecturer in the Fine Arts College of Shanghai University from 1985 until he emigrated to Hong Kong three years later. Hu's works have been exhibited extensively in Shanghai, Taipei, Singapore, Hong Kong and throughout Europe and the United States. Hu Yongkai is now a resident of the United States and divides his time between his home in California and studio in Hong Kong.
Hu Yongkai loves to depict women, especially within architectural settings. Court ladies taken from classical Chinese novels or legends are the central figures in Hu's works. They are surrounded by garden settings which resemble old courtyards and evoke a sense of mystique and concealment. The splendour of traditional costume is thoughtfully juxtaposed with a parade of discoloured brick walls and ancient temples, contrasting the presence and the past. The influence of Chinese folk art is evident in the dense primary colours, but one could also trace this technique to the tenth century tomb paintings found at Dunhuang.
Copyright © 2000 by Plum Blossoms Gallery and Hu Yongkai.