Enquire about Fu Hong
Highly Respected Portrait Artist - Portrait Commission enquiries, through Jenny Pihan Fine Art. Contact : Jenny Pihan 0417 368 807
Portrait of Sarah - Finalist Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, 2011. Finalist in the 2008 Archibald Prize with his penetrating and brooding portrait of art doyen Dr Joseph Brown, and in the 2009 Archibald Prize for his compassionate portrait of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, challenging contemporary realist Fu Hong, renowned for the lavish and sensuous manner in which he captures the emotional state of his subject in a dynamic synthesis of classical realism and impressionist colour application, continues his fascinating painterly journey by consistently reinventing his theatrical approach to picture making.
Born in China in 1946. Graduated from the China Arts & Crafts Academy, Beijing. From 1966-68 he was artistic designer for the China Theatre Music Academy, from 1974-75 artistic designer at the Central Folk and Dance Troupe of China, from 1975-80 artistic director at the National Central Television Drama Section and Broadcasting Arts Company of China, and from 1985-90 director of the “artist’s gallery” of China National Artistic Association, Beijing.
Since arriving in Australia in 1990, Hong has gained a deserved national and international reputation for his original synthesis of representational painting with “impressionist” and “expressionist” leanings. Each individual picture has an experiential sculptural syntax underscoring its pictorial space – one can actually see the solidity of his pictorial forms and “feel” them through his skilful and inventive use of modelling, perspective and spatial illusion.
At heart he is a finely attuned and astute colourist with a sensual, tactile approach to the spontaneous application of paint and the intuitive balancing of colour contrasts and harmonies – he is not hamstrung by notions of yesterday’s classicism – he is a true modernist realist with a technicolour palette - and he is not afraid to compose chromatically.
Hong’s nudes possess a voluptuousness of shape – it is as though he has caressed them awake from the surrounding painted field; his landscapes reveal an expressionist-like impasto of blotches, strokes and nuanced flourishes, his drawings reveal powerful draftsmanship, and his flowers stand alone in contemporary floral realism.
His impressive achievements include: finalist 2008 Archibald Prize; winner Best Portrait 2006 Lexus Mortimore Prize; 2006 Archibald Prize Salon des Refuses; finalist 2005 John Glover Art Prize; finalist 2004 Dobell Prize for Drawing; finalist 1996 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize; and winner of the 2002 Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award. His work is featured in the collections of China National Gallery, the Murdoch Family, Sir Charles Court, Crown Casino, the Ethel Turner Family, Safti Military Institute of Singapore, and many more.
Quotes from Archibald Prize 2009 article – “Portraiture as a mug’s game”
The Australian 26 February 2009
- Christopher Allen
“Who will it be this time? Will it be a familiar name or a newcomer? Actually there are always two names in any Archibald picture: the artist’s and the sitter’s. It is not just a matter of the best picture but, often and above all, of the most appealing or notorious sitter.”
“As it is, we have two grand old ladies, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch and Margaret Whitlam. They would certainly be more than eligible as winners.”
Quotes from Archibald Prize 2009 article – “The Colours of Democracy”
The Sydney Morning Herald 7-8 March 2009
- John McDonald
“This leads me to suspect that a more conservative work will be the frontrunner this time around.
In this regard there is no better candidate than Fu Hong’s portrait of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, the much-loved matriarch of the Murdoch clan who turns 100 this year. Sound, sensitive and well executed, with a hint of warmth that reveals the artist’s admiration for his subject, this is the picture to beat in this year’s field. Dame Elisabeth is also a sentimental favourite, a quality that counts for a lot in the Archibald”.
“If it were simply a matter of awarding the prize to the most skillfully painted picture, Fu Hong and Jun Chen would have no serious competitors but this is not necessarily the trustees’ primary requirement. The truth is that different trustees tend to like very different works, meaning that the ultimate winner may be a compromise. It is not a decision made by an elite group of connoisseurs but a deal hammered out in the board room. There is no aesthetic rescue package should they get it wrong but the economic impact will be felt by only one lucky winner.”
Fu Hong – Finalist Archibald Prize 2009
Portrait of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch
Oil on canvas
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch turned 100 on 8 February 2009. The widow of Australian newspaper publisher Sir Keith Murdoch and mother of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, she had devoted her life to philanthropy.
Patron of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and a life governor of the Royal Women’s Hospital, Dame Elisabeth was the first woman on the council of trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria and a founding member of the Victorian Tapestry Workshop. She supported over 100 charitable organizations annually, lending her benefaction to a wide range of causes including the arts, medical research, social welfare, flora and fauna and animal welfare.
Dame Elisabeth held a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) and a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).
Fu Hong painted her portrait in honour of her 100th Birthday.
Born in Beijing, China in 1946, Hong has had 40 solo exhibitions in Australia and overseas including a major solo show at the China National Art Gallery in 1998 and a solo exhibition at the Tian Jin National Museum in January 2009. In 2002, he won the Shirley Hannan Portrait Prize. He was a finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 1996 and the Dobell Drawing Prize in 2004.