The Creator of “Aspiration” — Rona Hu

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By Lily Leung, Director of Eastation Gallery

Among the female artists of realism orientation, Rona Hu is quite unique in that, rather than exploring “inner” and “self” angle of creation that focuses on the artists’ egos, she casts a wider and grander coverage of social evolution. Also differing from most male artists who also pinpoint their paint brushes to the social issues and the underprivileged groups with gloomy and dignifying style permeating their artwork. By contrast, Rona Hu employs bright and brilliant colors to inject unique romanticism and warmth to “The Underprivileged”, showing distinctive humanity touch in her art work “Aspiration”.

As the “’85 New Wave” and the “post 1989” era ended their discussion about the metaphysical propositions, a group of “New Generation Artists” in China shift their attention from the macro issues of human beings to the life of individuals, from lofty spiritual life to ordinary daily life, from top down concerns at distance to close observation. Rona Hu picks out a salient representation of common people in contemporary society — the underprivileged class which is mainly composed of hundreds of millions of rural migrant workers. The artist recreates image of physical and emotional state for this group of people with her superb technique. More interestingly, she puts her creation in the surrealistic context, pitting the realistic life against the backdrop of brightly and dreamy space, a strong contrast yet juxtaposed seamlessly. Here comes the picture of the underprivileged group in the shadow of prosperous cities, their conflicted inner world of longing and loneliness as well as their weak sense of existence.

By alternating between concrete and abstract languages and using simple yet brilliant colors, Rona Hu unveils the dreams and reality of “the underprivileged”. Just as she often overlays the portraits of tired and well worn figures with honeycomb and spliced artistic languages, the artist presents to us a strong and perseverant “underprivileged” group that are living with dignity and hope in the realm of adversity through sheer force of strong will and dream. Li Song, famous art critic, dean and professor in Fine Art Collage, Beijing University once said Rona Hu’s works “stand at the intersection of many clues to gain a broader horizon and connect many dots”. Professor Luo Li, Chinese National Academy of Arts dubbed Rona Hu “among the recent crop of female artists who have gained prominence and significant promise in the artistic world”, and Professor Luo believes Rona’s works ” demonstrates her vigorous and exuberant creativity”.

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