Evoking beds of chrysanthemums, the giant sculptural panelled artworks of Zhuang Hong Yi draw on both the love of this flower that’s central to the culture of China, where he was born, and the cultivation of blooms in the Netherlands, where he now lives. Thousands of small flower-like scrolls made out of rice paper are sprayed with paint to create works that are seductively tactile and visually arresting. The effect is commanding but poetic – like an upbeat Rothko painting or perhaps Renoir’s field of poppies – and the quirky way in which they are made has clearly inspired much admiration, with prices advancing between 20 and 40 per cent in the past five years, according to his gallery, House of Fine Art. Zhuang has exhibited throughout Europe and China, his work is held in numerous public and private collections worldwide, and he has been the subject of multiple museum shows, including in the Netherlands. Now a new show, Radiance, opens across the two London spaces of the House of Fine Art, in late March.
Educated at the Sichuan College of Fine Arts, which has a reputation for emphasising handcraft in making art, Zhuang’s meditations on colour, nature and form – and on formal technique – are typical of Chinese contemporary artists from the region. In this latest collection (from £7,000 to £70,000), Zhuang has developed his technique from working with a single uniform colour to creating dual- and triple-coloured works that subtly shift from one dominant tone to another. “Most of the people feel the positive energy in my work,” he says. “They feel happy, they feel rich, they feel enough.”