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Tang Hui

featured image of Tang Hui

Tang Hui was born in Wuhan in 1968, graduated from the Art School Attached to the Hubei Institute of Fine Arts in 1987, and then graduated from the Department of Mural Painting, Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1991. He currently lives and teaches at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China. His works are collected by the National Art Museum of China, the University Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Hong Kong, the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C., USA).

“I started to design mural painting at the age of 11, because a new art form of mural painting emerged at that time, my parents were so excited that I was influenced by this. Before that I was in contact with the art of the Soviet Union, often reading the newspapers and magazines of the art from the Soviet Union at that time, I adored the artists of Soviet Union. But I had also the opportunity to discover Western art, because some avant-garde artists were living in my yard in Hubei Institute of Fine Arts, such as Yan Shanchun, Wang Guangyi, Fu Zhongwang, Wei Guangqing, and Xu Tan, etc. Xu Tan, now an artist engaging in installation art who was my drawing teacher in the Affiliated School, and he inspired me a lot at that time. I participated in the “Art Exhibition of Chinese Youth”, which I was very proud of at that time.”

About My Creation

By Tang Hui

In fact, I started to paint cartoons in 1980s, I hadn’t studied the trends of political pop, because my creations always focused on my own life, instead of being concerned with the big environment, which was related to my introverted personality, I preferred to review my inner activities. But since 2008, I started to focus on the big environment instead of the inner, as I was invited to design the mural painting of the Buddha Cleansing the World by the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Hualien, Taiwan, and it was involved with the faith, so I created a series of work entitled “The Monument Series”, including the following drawing series. Since 2012, I started to review myself once again, so that I created more abstract work such as “The Shape Series”, “The Skin Series”, synchronising with the creation of several series was a new experience for me.

In the process of creation, my creative ideas naturally appeared, and like a brook flowing slowly. Actually I thought to give up creating a big business or completing a very big work after I was 40 years old, in fact, creation aims to express a joy. My work emphasizes the imagination, when I face the real object I feel I have little space to play in, for example, at the early stage of creating “The Monument Series”, I felt it was very hard to portray the real things, while it was very easy to play with my imagination in virtual thinking. You won’t feel it is hard to do anything that you are familiar with. I emphasize talent, when a student doesn't have the ability, I would suggest he does something else that he is good at.

I grew up in the city, and was born loving urban and industrial civilization, so I painted motor cars and airplanes when I was a child, later I was excited with the high-tech computer, I thought the integration of interest and self creation is a good choice, so that I completed my graduation creation “Attacking Time and Space”, which was the integrated embodiment of my own interest, knowledge and experience, and I also gradually formed my own language.

I learned a lot from my teacher Cao Li when studying in CAFA, and from his works, I found we had many congenial things, such as we were both infatuated with the relationships of structure, rhythm, density, as well as the detail of the work.

I have a different preference in different stages, instead of deliberately planning it. I am interested in deer at this stage, so when I went to Nara to take photos of deer last week, I transferred my interest to this aspect, so that my next exhibition is about deer. It is perhaps related to the changes of the body, which is also a natural fact for me. In the environment of Nara, the deer are like local residents, like some of their children, each deer has its own name, and I saw an elderly couple feed the deer every day, when they called the name of a deer, it would come to them, the deer seemed to be consistent with local Tang Dynasty’s cultural legacy, which is also an Oriental culture, and it may be like the sense in Chang’an in ancient China, cranes and deer harmoniously living together with people.

Excerpts from “Wang Chunchen Interviewed with Tang Hui: Academy and Me”.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2013 Solo Exhibition, Eastation Gallery, Beijing, China

2011 Solo Exhibition, Eastation Gallery, Beijing, China

2010 Solo Exhibition, Courtyard-gallery, Beijing, China

2009 Solo Exhibition, The Z-art Center, Shanghai, China

2008 Solo Exhibition, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, U.S.A

1998 Solo Exhibition, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China

Selected Group Exhibitions

2013 Expression and Limit, Hall2 of Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts, Nanjing, China

2013 Portrait of The Times - 30 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China

2012 Vision – CAFA Contemporary Plastic Arts Exhibition, Wimbledon College of Art, London, UK

2011 Constructing Form, Beijing Commune, Beijing, China

2010 Shanghai Biennial—REHEARSAL , Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China

2009 Domino Plan in the Space, Chen Linghui Contemporary Space, Beijing, China

2008 The Power of the Brush Leading Painter from Asia, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, USA

2008 Map Games: Dynamics of Change International Visual Art and Architecture Project, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

2008 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK; Terni International Center for Contemporary Art Opificio Siri, CAoS, Italy

2007 On Ecstasy-the Five Oriental Imagination Artists, Cube Gallery, Beijing, China

2006 Oriental Imagination, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

2005 Chengdu Biennial, Century City New International Convention & Exhibition Center, Chengdu, China

2004 Life Style of East Asia, Beijing Tokyo Arts Project, Beijing, China

2004 Selected Exhibition of Art Archives, Hubei Art Museum, Wuhan, China

2003 Second Hand Reality, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

2003 Rogue Nations, MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana), San Jose, CA, USA

2002 Shanghai Biennial—Urban Creation, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China

2001 Virtual Future, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

2000 Virtual and Real, Huang Shi Cheng Art Museum, Beijing, China

1999 The Northeast (Korea, China, Japan) and The third world Art Exhibition, Seoul Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

1999 Chinese Contemporary Art 1979-1999, Century City New International Convention & Exhibition Center, Chengdu, China

1998 A revelation of the 20 Year Contemporary Chinese Art, Zhongshan Park of China, Beijing, China

1997 The 1st Academic Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary Art, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

1996 The 1st Chinese Academic Oil Painting Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

1995 The 3rd Group Exhibition of Chinese Oil Painting, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

1993 The Chinese Contemporary Oil Painting Exhibition, Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong, China

1985 Art Exhibition of Chinese Youth, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

Main Academic Activities

2005 Invited to Design carpet Watch Clouds and Observe Weather for Chinese Lounge, at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC, U.S.A

2000 Invited to Design mural painting of The Buddha Cleansing the World, The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Hualien, Taiwan

1997 Artist in Residence Program “ARCUS’ 97” stayed in Ibaraki, Japan

Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO.