Zhuang Hong Yi

Full collection Zhuang Hong Yi available at SmithDavidson Gallery
Born in 1962 in Sichuan Province, China, Zhuang Hong Yi is one of China's most influential artists. Characterised by daringly-bold colour palettes, Hong Yi's sophisticated, repetitive, and precise floral motifs both reflect his Chinese background and integrate a Western allure as a universal symbol of prosperity and optimism.
After Zhuang Hong Yi  finished his artistic education at the Sichuan Fine Arts institute - the oldest and one of the most prestigious art academies in China - in Chongqing, he and his wife (the artist Lu Luo, b. 1971) moved to Groningen, The Netherlands, were they both became apprentices at the Minerva Academy. After finishing his studies in 1997, Zhuang quickly received recognition as an artist. Many international exhibitions followed. 
The artist’s Chinese roots remain clearly visible in his work, both thematically and through the use of his materials. His residence in the Netherlands over the past decades has profoundly influenced his work. The renowned and incredible unique Flowerbed series are a clear example of this crossover of Eastern and Western influences. Zhuang Hong Yi currently resides in Swtizerland, however even after many years of residence in Europe, Zhuang still holds his main studio in Beijing where he travels several times a year to work, collect new materials and to find inspiration.

Artwork and technique 

The flower motif is dominant throughout  Zhuang Hong Yi’s work. In Chinese culture the flower is a significant image, which carries countless meanings and emotions.
Zhuang's well known Flowerbed works are crafted from delicate pieces of painted rice paper, which he has bent and folded into hundreds of tiny buds that subtly shift colours as you move your body and eyes from one side of the work to the other. The floral hybrids evince an artist with genuine sensibility - the painstaking process of folded rice-paper layered with acrylic and oil paint belies an almost ascetic level of discipline. 

Zhuang also implements a more traditional painterly approach through his Landscape works  that bear influence of Impressionism and other Euro-American artistic practices in which he applies acrylic in heavily gestural impasto with rice-paper flowers. Working with a freedom of style, his daring strokes of bright colours are expressive and unconfined. Colours melting together and paint dripping down make the canvas blossom under the eye: appearing to move and thrive with the viewer, a beautifully defiant natural symbol in the face of aggressive global urbanisation.

Utilizing a traditional Chinese material, the works also represent traditional Chinese aesthetics: Zhuang Hong Yi’s paintings are meditations on color, nature and form. The enthralling effect of colors changing in unexpected ways in the artists work, enhances the traditional flow of a flower field in Spring time, yet is also utterly contemporary and abstract. Zhuang’s work is built upon his native country’s well-established artistic traditions and boundaries, which he has married with the Dutch encouragement of freedom of style. Embracing his present without losing his past the artist strives to define a sense of self that exists between the two. 

This is the personal struggle that Zhuang enacts visually and through his artistic processes, which vacillate between phases of controlled planning, emotional gesture, and careful editing. Objects of appealing beauty, mysterious and alluring - at once both foreign and familiar - are the result. Zhuang Hong Yi’s liberation in terms of both aesthetics and technique make his work unique and instantly recognisable.

Zhuang Hong Yi explaines:

“My art is about happiness, enrichment, and re-enchantment. Today there is so much negativity and pain in the world; I want people to feel joy by reconnecting them with the calmness of nature. It’s why the flower is so dominant in my paintings. Flowers are a universal and unifying symbol for peace and prosperity.” 
Over the years, Zhuang has created a significant broad following across the globe with exhibitions throughout continents. The artist has been the subject of multiple museum exhibitions and his work is held in numerous esteemed public and private collections: spreading positivity worldwide. 
The Dutch art scene quickly embraced the works of Zhuang Hong Yi. Some of Zhuang’s first exhibitions included the ‘Kunsthal’ in Rotterdam (1999) followed by a solo show in 2001 in the internationally renowned Dutch museum for contemporary art Groninger Museum. In 2007, the Groninger Museum honored him and his wife Lu Luo with a large duo exhibition called ‘Atelier Beijing’. In 2013 his work was selected for the 55th Biennale di Venezia.

Recent the Solo shows include the Museum Ulm, Germany and Museum De Zwarte Tulp, The Netherlands, ‘East of the East’ XU Gallery, Shanghai, China and the 2021 exhibition ‘Inflorescence’ in the Erarta Museum for Contemporary Art, St Petersburg, Russia.
Over the summer of 2020 SmithDavidson Gallery presented ‘In Bloom’, a solo exhibition simultaneously held across three continents to celebrate the longstanding relationship with the artist of well over a decade.
Multiple monographs about Zhuang Hong Yi’s works have been published in the past 20 years, most notably The Monumental Works catalogue following the artist’s second exhibition in the renowned Groninger Museum.


Selected Exhibitions: 

2021 - Solo: Inflorescence, Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art, St Petersburg, Russia

2020 - Solo: In Bloom; Celebrating over 10 years of co-operation, SmithDavidson Gallery, Miami, Mexico City & Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2019 - Solo exhibition East of the East, XU Gallery, Shanghai, China

2019 - Solo presentation Art Miami, SmithDavidson Gallery, Miami USA

2019 - Colors of Spring, Floral impressions of a Chinese artist, Museum de Zwarte Tulp, Lisse, The Netherlands

2019 - Cabo Art Week, SmithDavidson Gallery, Miami, USA

2019 - Art New York, SmithDavidson Gallery, Miami, USA

2018 - East meets West, SmithDavidson Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2018 - BLOOM, Karmelklooster, Drachten, The Netherlands 

2018 - Solo: Summer Exhibition, SmithDavidson Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2018 - Solo: Flowerbed, Museum ULM, Ulm, Germany

2018 - Art Palm Beach, SmithDavidson Gallery, USA

2017 - Art Miami, SmithDavidson Gallery, USA

2017 - PAN Amsterdam, SmithDavidson Gallery, the Netherlands

2017 - Modern Masters, SmithDavidson Gallery, Miami, USA

2016 - TEFAF Maastricht, SmithDavidson Gallery, Maastricht, The Netherlands

2015 - Art Silicon Valley San Francisco, Smith Davidson Gallery, USA

2015 - Global Art Exhibition, SmithDavidson Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2015- Rabobank Private Banking Corporate Exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2015 - Soho House, London, UK

2015 - TEFAF Maastricht, SmithDavidson Gallery, The Netherlands

2015 - The Armory Show, SmithDavidson Gallery, New York, U.S.A.

2014 - Solo: Interbrokers Offices, Miami, U.S.A.

2014 - XingJiang Biennial, XingJiang, China

2014 - Fusion convergence, T-Museum, HangZhou,China

2013 - Solo: Will Make the World, Found Museum, Beijing, China 

2013 - Colors of Nature - Zhuang Hong Yi & Simon Ma’, a traveling duo exhibition in Amsterdam, Shanghai and Miami

2013 - Museum de Oude Wolden (MOW), Bellingwolde, The Netherlands

2013 - Voice of the Unseen - Chinese Independent art 1979-today, 55th Biennale die Venezia, Venice, Italy

2013 - Venice Biennale the parallel show, Venice, Italy

2012 - Solo: World of Flowers, Leslie Smith Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2011 - Exhibition of Contemporary Asian Art, Mandarin Oriental, Miami, USA

2009 - Museum Kampen, Kampen, The Netherlands

2008 - Empty City, Shanghai YuanGong Museum, China 

2008 - 'Art is nothing?', Beijing 798, Beijing,China

2007 - Solo: Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands  

2007 - 'Start from XiNan', GuangZhou Museum, China

2003 - Solo: Art Contemporary Century, Dordrecht, The Netherlands  

2002 - Solo: De Boterhal, Hoorn, The Netherlands  

2002 - Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands

2001 - ChenDu Biennale, ChengDu, China

2001 - Solo: Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands  

2001 - Stedelijk Museum, Zwolle, The Netherlands 

2001 - ChenDu Biennale, ChengDu, China 

1999 - Westfries Museum, Hoorn, The Netherlands 

1999 - Kunsthal Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

1999 - Westfries Museum, Hoorn, The Netherlands


Born in Sichuan, China on May 2nd, 1962

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