“My work-I want to give people a positive feeling, a happy feeling. Now the world is quite negative. I want people to look at my work and feel happy in that.”
-Zhuang Hong Yi
Zhuang Hong Yi is one of China’s most influential artists with a broad international following across Europe and Asia. His floral motifs are included in various private and museum collections including the Museum of Sichuan Fine Art in China and the Groninger and Stadsmuseum Zoetermeer in the Netherlands. Born and raised in China, Hong Yi’s concern with environmental issues is reflected in his repetitive use of floral patterns, highlighting the increasing urbanization of his home country, the ferocious plundering of natural resources, and the depopulation of the rural environment.
Hong Yi moved to the Netherlands in the 1990s and running through his work is a thread that links both cultures: a love of flowers. The Netherlands’ relationship with flowers is well documented by the renowned tulip mania of the Dutch Golden Age during the 17th century. Conversely, in China, flowers are uniquely symbolic, representing growth, fulfillment, and prosperous beginnings, as well as manifesting good chi, each type of flower has its own relevance. Recurrent in Hong Yi’s work is the lucky Chrysanthemum and the Lotus flowers, signifiers of metaphysical purity and strength.
The artist works in two dominant yet distinct mediums. One series of works is his Flowerbed series, produced with painstakingly folded origami rice-paper flowers covered in color-shifting layers of acrylic and oil paint. The other is a more traditional painting series using acrylic in heavily sculpted and gestural impasto with unfolded rice-paper flowers.
Zhuang Hong Yi’s work can be found in public and private collections internationally, including collections in New York, Abu Dhabi, Morocco, Denmark, London, Geneva, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Beirut.