Fu Hong

A true modernist realist, displaying powerful draftsmanship in his skillfully painted pictures.

Exhaustively trained in classical realism in his birth country China, he now has the appropriate tools and is intellectually free enough to push the limits of his representational picture making, often reverting to the tried and true figurative discipline to reinvigorate his pictorial energies and concrete his own unique contemporary vision.

Fu Hong captures the ordinary moment and turns it inside out, into the “out of the ordinary moment”

Whether it is an intimate nude scene, a vibrant glowing landscape, rock stars powering in the harsh light of performance, or a homely bowl of lush tulips, one is instantly captivated by the high key colours, scintillating tones, imaginative perspectives, and dramatic compositional design evident in Fu Hong’s paintings.

Hong’s freewheeling brush style knowingly adapts to the demands put upon it by his theatrical imagination…shifting from rhythmic, to gestural, to pure impressionist with equal vigour and sensibility…and herein lies his individuality as a painter, he never lets go of the greater psychological content of his work as he painstakingly develops this refined painterly individuality.

Whether painting flowers in all their comfortable and comfortable blooming, a confronting larger than life emotionally penetrating portrait of the famous or otherwise, a panoramic landscape dripping in earth tones, botanical greens, and sky blues licked with warm radiant light, Fu Hong captures the ordinary moment and turns it inside out into the “out of the ordinary moment”…one of grace and poise.

Born in China in 1946, after graduating from the China Arts & Crafts Academy, Beijing, he was commissioned to paint the late Chairman Mao. 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 reputation as an outstanding realist painter with “impressionist” leanings working in his own distinct manner. Each individual picture has an experiential sculptural syntax running through 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 well-honed 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 shape – it is as though he has caressed them awake from the surrounding painted field; his landscapes reveal an impressionist-like impasto of blotches, strokes and nuanced flourishes, his drawings are tour deforces of draftsmanship, and his flowers stand alone in contemporary floral realism.

His impressive achievements include being a finalist in the 2004 Dobell Prize for Drawing at the State Gallery of NSW, a finalist in the 1996 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, and 2002 winner of the 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.


 His portraits are consistently outstanding works of art…

Fu Hong stars as a portrait artist to be admired.

Commissioned and avidly collected, he is very fast on the ascension, markedly since his intimately reflective portrayal of artist and philanthropist Dr Joseph Brown, which was commissioned for Cbus (Superannuation Fund for the Construction and Building Industries) to be included in the collection known as “The Cbus Australian Art Collection” as advised by Dr Joseph Brown.

The portrait of Dr Brown was selected as a finalist in the 2008 Archibald Prize.

Subsequently, on the back of that success was commissioned to paint Dame Elizabeth Murdoch, a challenge which he was eager to take on.

The Portrait of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch was a Finalist in the Archibald Prize 2009 Oil on Canvas. Dame Elisabeth turned 100 in the February that same year.

Fu Hong’s portraits are consistently outstanding works of art, capturing the essence of the sitter, with particular attention to detail of the eyes reflecting the person’s inner being.

Not exclusively a portraiture artist, Hong is well known for his up-tempo modernist leaning, high-key impressionist colour bursts, and soft sensuous tonal rendering melded around a masterly drawn structure. He is very much a painterly artist challenging the fashionable anti-art contemporary paradigm, all the while guided by his aesthetic desire to enhance and heighten the living reality of his subject rather than to merely copy or imitate it in a deadened photorealistic manner.

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