Xu Hong

Xu Hong
b. 1957, Shanghai
Painter, art critic
In 1981, Xu Hong enrolled in the Faculty of Art Education at Shanghai Normal University, graduating in 1986. She has taken part in many national and international exhibitions, including: the seminal China Avant-Garde exhibition at the China Art Gallery in Beijing (1989), China New Art in Australia (1992), Chinese Women Painters in Washington (1995), and the important Century Woman at the China Art Gallery in Beijing (1998). Since 1986 she has been working at the Art Research and Acquisition Department of the Shanghai Art Museum and has also published a number of essays on the development of modern art and women artists in China.
Originally trained as an oil painter, Xu was a member of the Shanghai modern art movement in the 1980s and among the first Chinese artists to experiment with mixed media works (cailiaore). This form of expression was part of a trend in the mid 1980s concerned with transforming the use and meanings of materials and redefining aspects of traditional Chinese culture.
Xu was also one of the few women artists who showed a strong interest in exploring abstraction, a style shunned during ideologically saturated times for its associations with ‘bourgeois’ and liberal Western ideals. Xu’s Himalayan Wind, a series of seven large mixed media canvases, partly exhibited in the ‘China Avant-Garde’ exhibition, used juxtaposed layers of Chinese traditionally hand-made paper pasted over black-painted canvases studded with crushed sharp-edged stones. Inverting the traditional idea of black brush strokes on white background, this non-objective series is part of an exploration that rethinks the self in relation to the cosmos, a fundamental association in Chinese philosophy.
Xu, Hong (1994). The Spotted Leopard: Seeking Truth from History and Reality: Trends in the Development of Chinese Art’. ART AsiaPacific 1.2 (April): 31–5.
——(1995). ‘China—Dialogue: The Awakening of Women’s Consciousness’. ART AsiaPacific 2.2: 44–51.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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