RTSM | TANG Hui: Complicated Passive Happiness

TEXT:CAFA ART INFO    DATE: 2020.10.28

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The Flower of Revolution, 300X200cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 2020

In the past year, my creation has basically continued to expand along two threads, one is the Plant Series and the other is the Monument Series.

The pandemic meant I had to stay in California for seven months. The Bay Area in February was not affected by the pandemic initially but my return ticket was cancelled by the airline, and all plans were delayed indefinitely. It was during the days when Wuhan was locked down. My parents and brothers were all in Wuhan. I was in a state of anxiety, and lived with worry every day. Soon after I received a notice that the new semester would be postponed, this also heralded the beginning of a long vacation.

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Taihu Stone II , 61X76cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 2020

Wuhan lifted its lockdown in April, which indicated that the domestic pandemic was brought under control, and my anxiety could be finally be relieved. Not long after May and June, the big data of the U.S. pandemic showed that tens of thousands of people were infected every day. The sky-high ticket prices and various conspiracy stories were all diffused. My family members in China began to worry about my safety again. These days were dramatically bizarre and full of twists and turns.


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Bamboo I, II, III, 60X70cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 2020

At the very beginning of the outbreak, the painting material store in the Bay Area was still open, so I went to buy picture frames. Later, as the pandemic became increasingly serious, the store was shuttered and closed. Under these circumstances, only online shopping could solve the problem of sourcing painting materials. What is different from China is the long waiting time for online shopping in the United States. This waiting then constituted my creative process. While waiting, the ocean, sunshine, and vegetation in California gave me the idea of continuing to create the Plant Series. Whenever I am in facing a complex situation, I hope to temporarily put down worries at work, aimlessly imagining and striving for perfection. I expect to get pleasure from consuming paint, energy, and time. The growth law of plants allows me to seek changes during restrictions and follow the law of changes. I deal with each simple part of a complication and entangle it in the problem to form a perfect or imperfect presentation of the edge. This kind of creative method can calm my heart which offers passive happiness.



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Pine I, II, III, 40x50cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 2020

Meanwhile, I have not given up on the creation of the Monument Series over the years. I have repeatedly explored and replicated this theme. The Monument Series is not ideological declarations. It only expresses the recollection of some scenes in the  memory, and also commemorates the past that was once enthusiastic but gradually turned into a barren landscape.

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Chimney, 76X61cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 2020Hero Monument-2020.jpgHero Monument, Digital Painting, 2020Hero Monument in WUHAN-2020.jpgHero Monument in WUHAN, Digital Painting, 2020

Looking at this side of the monument from afar is precisely evident of life at present. There is childhood, faith, painting skills and love in these works. 

During the quarantine period in the pandemic, I used vector tools to create a doctors’ monument. It is a sort of creation that is based on my true feelings.

Tang Hui

Wangjing, Beijing

Oct.14th, 2020

About the Artist:


Tang Hui

1968 Born in Wuhan

1987 Graduated From The Art School attached to the Hubei Academy of Fine Arts, Wuhan, China

1991 Graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China

Deputy Dean of the School of Plastic Arts, CAFA

Dean of the Mural Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, a Doctoral Supervisor.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2016   Solo Exhibition, Hong Kun Museum of Fine Arts,  Beijing , China

2013   Solo Exhibition, Eastation Gallery, Beijing, China

2011   Solo Exhibition, Eastation Gallery, Beijing, China

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019 “DO YOU COPY” MoCA Shanghai, China

2019 “BEYOND BOUNDARIES” An interaction between the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing and the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London

2018 “TRADITION IS AN INVENTION” CAFA Centennial Works of Teacher Exhibition, United Kingdom

2017 Born in the 60s China Contemporary Art Exhibition & Swedish Artist Invitation

Exhibition New Gallery of Art, China

2017 The Meeting of Dnieper : A Show and Interaction between Contemporary Art from China and Ukraine

2017  Jungle III –Common ,Organized by Platform China Contemporary Art Institute

Text and Image Courtesy of the Artist.

Edited by Sue and Emily