Hu Zhiying

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Hu Zhiying
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Born (1959-11-12) November 12, 1959 (age 64)
Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, China
Other namesYuling
  • Han Chinese
  • Jiangxi Normal University (1977-1981)
  • Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (1987-1990)
  • Jinan University (1999-2002) (Ph.D., 2002)
OccupationArtist, Poet, Professor
Known forArt, Contemporary Art, Literature
Notable work
  • A Collection of Works by Hu Zhiying
  • Beyond the Chains of Illusion— Hu Zhiying's Paintings 1989-2009
  • Experience and Transcendence: Hu Zhiying's Art 1987-2017
  • On the Paramitality in Literature
  • Won the Merit Award of the International Palm Art Award 2010, Leipzig, Germany
  • Won the Exposure Award, New York, USA (2015)

Hu Zhiying (Chinese: 胡志穎, pinyin: húzhìyǐng, November 12, 1959), born in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province. His ancestral home is in Xiangyin, Hunan Province. He is an important contemporary Chinese artist, art educator and poet. He is an avant-garde artist, good at painting, installation art|installation and conceptual art. His artworks are displayed in China, the United States and European countries. He has taught painting and calligraphy in Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and South China Normal University and other colleges.[1]

Life and Career

Hu Zhiying is one of the First College Students of the resumption of the college entrance examination system in mainland China in 1977. [2]He graduated from the Art Department of Jiangxi Normal University. In 1987, he was admitted to Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and studied as a graduate student in the Department of Chinese painting.[1]During his graduate studies, he joined the 1989 1989 Tiananmen Square protests|June 4th Democracy Movement.[3]} In 1990, Hu Zhiying's master's thesis About the Transiency of Art was labeled as "not in line with Marxist principles" and was denied.[4][5][6] In 2002, Hu Zhiying received his Ph.D. degree from the College of Liberal Arts of Jinan University with the thesis "On the Paramitality in Literature".[7] His poems are published in Chinese and Western Poetry,[8] Survivors Poetry, [9] etc.[10]Hu Zhiying is also a dissident in mainland China. Articles criticizing the autocracy of Chinese Communist Party are published in "Beijing Spring",[11]"Huanghuagang Magazine",[12] and Taiwan's Chinese Culture Monthly,[13] etc.

Art Style

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Technology and Media

Hu Zhiying uses materials of Western art and materials of Chinese traditional painting and arts and crafts to drive color relations such as black, white, red, yellow and pink green, interweaving and infiltrating, rolling and jumping in posture, dismembering the specific human head, trunk and limbs, transcending the normal state, being unable to distinguish between the concrete and the abstract, which is full of tension. As Adam Donald said: “Illustrating what he calls the ‘cultural contrast’, Hu Zhiying brings together traditional Chinese art with the eclectic styles of the West. He combines traditional Chinese symbolism and landscape with the elements of the various styles of Western art all coming together to create something more than art — something equal to the real world. Using Chinese varnish, silver, and gold powder with traditional ink, Oil painting|oils and acrylics, Hu Zhiying is able to create a unique style that pierces into the soul.”[14]

Art Form

The lines, strokes and pictures of Hu Zhiying's paintings contain the easy way of virtual and real life, all kinds of conflicting shapes, changing visual effects, virtual space forms, and free artistic skills, which make some real shadows finally be dispelled into virtual shadows. William J. Sheehy, an art broker in New York, thinks: Hu Zhiying showcases his imagination and wisdom to the unique language of visual art with strong individual character, presenting his independent personality and powerful expression.[3]

Hu Zhiying's art contains his deep attachment to the Chinese classical culture. He integrates this kind of attachment into the western contemporary art in a strange way, which shows that his personalized experiment is not influenced by fashion. Dr. Claudia Teibler thinks so.[3]

Personality Characteristic

Hu Zhiying's works transcend the realistic artistic features and come from the inner desire of his "personal religious": the subject of personal religious experiences the inner power of the soul only as an independent existence of the individual can go to the deepest part of the soul, and its transcendental nature is the expression of the hidden language and nature in the deep part of the soul. This supreme language of the soul is the result of the inspiration of the soul.[7] Ed McCormack, a critic in New York, commented: Hu Zhiying made an important explanation on the trend of multiculturalism, in which the influence, inspiration and innovation of painters in the past, present and future are combined.[15]

According to the Culture Office of the Consulate General of Italy in Guangzhou, Hu Zhiying's art represents the unconventional, changeable and extraordinary images of our neglected soul kingdom.[3] Mei Mosheng, a famous art theorist and painter-calligrapher, believes that Hu Zhiying is an independent and ideological contemporary artist. Hu Zhiying's art is mysterious and profound, presenting a state of pluralistic coexistence of world space, like the disorder of people's thinking, as well as the disorder of video code - the original state of the world. This kind of work has a very deep spirit of Chinese culture in it. It gives people a sense of misplacement or overlap of time and space in ancient and modern times. In fact, people are both historical and realistic, both present and eternal.[3]

Connotation and Allegory

Hu Zhiying's way of grabbing images of different cultures is not restricted. Hu Zhiying's works embody his infinite desire for the expression of the form of the picture, the soul of freedom, the spiritual direction of the ultimate nihility permeated by his art, and the transcendence of the realistic level. However, the current popular discourse system of realism criticism can't reveal the mysterious visual field of his works and the spiritual ultimate mystery of the more anecdotal reality.[16] Professor Gao Minglu, a famous critic and curator, said in the article Freedom of a Lonely Passenger: Hu Zhiying is an independent meditator. He replaced the theme of body and mind with the cultural theme of ultimate thinking. At the same time, Hu Zhiying's instinctive cultural beliefs determine that he chooses more free and diverse images resources.[3]

Hu Zhiying introduced that since the 1990s, the aesthetic tendency of installation art has always been "Natural Aesthetics". The so-called "Nature" includes both traditional art and Avant-garde art in the period of Modernism. Hu Zhiying regards nature as the nature formed by "Concept Intuition". What's more, it's a kind of natural existence, the mixture of "self-showing" and "self-expression" of nature. That is to say, what this nature reflects is the "Nature" that artists already exist and permeate. This kind of illusion is born between idea intuition and reality, just like a modern fairy tale world in which sharing and isolation, reality and illusion are intertwined.[17]

Paul Bridgewater, an art director of a gallery in New York, analyzed Hu's art and said: “The installation art of Hu Zhiying is a journey of process and Discovery (observation)|discovery. Form his installation work since the '90's where he Illustrate|illustrates an understanding of traditional Eastern arts, where reverence of nature and solitude are explored through a masterful fluidity of art form with complex elements. But as a thinking artist, Hu begins to explore the ephemera of Western Culture. Western motifs insinuate themselves into his work. Hu investigates the overbearing elements of Western Culture, where production and consumption become process of themselves replacing the value of the human consumer.”[18]


Selected Solo Exhibitions

Hu Zhiying had his solo exhibitions: Galleria Piziarte (Teramo, Italy, 2008);[19] World Fine Art Gallery (New York, 2009);[20] TRANSIENCY AND INDULGE - HU ZHIYING. HUANG SHAOYIN'S DRAWING, K Space (Beijing, 2009);[21] Hu Zhiying’s Paintings (1989-2009), the Wall Art Museum (Beijing, 2010);[22][23] The installation The Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2016);[18]{[24] Hu Zhiying’s Art (1987-2017) (53 Art Museum, Guangzhou, 2017);[25]

Selected Group Exhibitions


Hu Zhiying joined group exhibitions during 1990s: Big-Tail Elephant, The United Art Exhibition (Guangzhou, 1992);[26] Shanghai First International Fax Art Exhibition (Shanghai, 1996);[27] China-Aktuelles aus 15 Ateliers (Munich, Germany, 1996);[28] CHINA NOW! (Basel, Switzerland, 1996);[29] CHINA NOW! (Tokyo, Osaka...five cities, Japan, 1997), etc.


Hu Zhiying joined group exhibitions during 2010s: Season and Color, Realism Gallery (New York City|New York, 2010); Window in the Wall:India and China – Imaginary Conversations, Pearl Lam Galleries, (Shanghai, 2011);[30] ART FRONTIER Contemporary Art Exhibition, Songzhuang Art Museum (Beijing, 2012);[31] 55th Venice Biennale • Voice of the Unseen (Venice, Italy, 2013);[1][32] Year in Review 2013 Group Show, NYC gallery (New York, 2014); The Exposure Award, Louvre Museum (Paris, 2015);[33] The SPECTRUM Miami Beach 2016, Artbox.Project (Miami, FL, 2016); The installations Diplomatic Language, etc., Dia:Beacon (New York, 2017);[34] The installations Beyond the Creation, UFO in the Room, Beautiful Lady Spies, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 2018);[34] The installations Abolition of the Death Penalty, Unable to Get New Childhood, New Museum (New York, 2018);[34] The installations No Movie, Why Is It A Toad? Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, 2018);[34] The installation Hungry Sheep, The Geometry of Meditation (New York the Met Cloisters, 2018);[34] The installations Postcolonial Workshop, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 2019),[35]



  • A Collection of Works by Hu Zhiying, by Hu Zhiying, Haifeng Publishing House, Fuzhou, 2011 [3]
  • Beyond the Chains of Illusion— Hu Zhiying's Paintings 1989-2009, edited by Bao Dong, China Global Culture Publishing House, Hong Kong, 2010 [36]
  • Experience and Transcendence: Hu Zhiying's Art 1987-2017 (Chinese-English), edited by Yang Wei and Hu Bin, China Artists Publishing House, Hong Kong, 2017 [17]


  • On the Paramitality in Literature(文學彼岸性研究), by Hu Zhiying, China Social Sciences Press, Beijing, 2003 [7]
  • Western Contemporary Art State, by Hu Zhiying (revised by Li Benzheng), People’s Fine Arts Publishing House, Beijing, 2003 [37]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Hu Zhiying(胡志穎)". China Artists Association.
  2. "List of 1977 graduates of Jiangxi Normal University". Geography Teacher.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Hu Zhiying (2011). A Collection of Works by Hu Zhiying (Chinese-English), Hu Zhiying, Haifeng Publishing House, Fuzhou, 2011. Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 978-7-5512-0029-5.
  4. Hu Zhiying. "About the Transiency of Art". CNKI.
  5. Wang Huangsheng The Transiency of Cultural Power——Reading Hu Zhiying: "Therefore, Hu Zhiying got himself into trouble with his brilliant paper About the Transiency of Art, and the mere presentation of his personal meditation was considered a challenge to the so-called authority." Jiangsu Art Monthly, No.2, 1997, Jiangsu Fine arts Publisher House
  6. "1990, His graduation thesis About the Transiency of Art (completed according to his plan of study) was negated by Chi Ke, director of the Theory Teaching and Research Section of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, who put the political label "not in line with Marxist principles" on it. He was denied the chance to defend his thesis and eventually fail to acquire the diploma and the master’s degree certificate. At that time, young teachers (including those of the Theory Teaching and Research Section), postgraduates who had finished their programme and those who were still studying at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts jointly expressed their opinion to the Academy authorities and authorities at a higher level responsible for the work concerned that academic freedom should be respected and learning should not be confused with administration. (The full text of About the Transiency of Art was published in Northern Art, journal of Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts in 2001. The title of his thesis was included in the Index of Theory of Plastic Art of 2001 by Center of Data from Newspapers and Magazines of Renmin University of China.)", Chronology, A Collection of Works by Hu Zhiying (Chinese-English), Hu Zhiying, Haifeng Publishing House, Fuzhou, 2011:224
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Hu Zhiying (2003). On the Paramitality in Literature. Library of Congress. ISBN 7-5004-4164-9.
  8. Huang Lihai. Chinese and Western Poetry, Guangzhou, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  9. Mang Ke, Yang Lian, and Tang Xiaodu. Survivors Poetry, Beijing, 2018. No.4
  10. 林崗“遲到的先鋒”,《書城》2012年9月號,上海三聯書店
  11. Hu Zhiying. "中國當代官方體育批判". Beijing Spring.
  12. Hu Zhiying. "從"邦迪對峙事件"透析美中兩國之間法律和軍隊的本質區別". Huanghuagang.
  13. Hu Zhiying《泛論馬克思主義作為一種理想主義之意義——兼及中國問題的思考》典藏臺灣官網,《中國文化月刊》十月(259卷),臺中市,2001
  14. NY Arts magazine, 2009, New York
  15. Gallery & Studio, Nov/Dec 2008-Jan 2009, New York
  16. Yang Wei "The Mirage of a Single Person",Yang Wei "Visions of Variety", Haifeng Publishing House, Fuzhou, 2013
  17. 17.0 17.1 Yang Wei and Hu Bin. Experience and Transcendence: Hu Zhiying's Art 1987-2017 (Chinese-English), China Artists Publishing House, Hong Kong, 2017. South China Normal University Library. ISBN 978-988-78237-6-6.
  18. "Hu Zhiying". Piziarte Gallery.
  19. Gallery Guide, New York, 2009
  21. Art in America, New York, 2010
  23. Paul Bridgewater & William J. Sheehy & Meadow. "The Installations of Hu Zhiying In the MoMA". issuu.
  24. "Experience and Transcendence: Hu Zhiying's Art (1987-2017)". 53 Art Museum.
  25. Contemporary Art, No.4, Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House, Changsha, 1993
  26. "Shanghai First International Fax Art Exhibition". Shangh Art Gallery.
  27. "China-Aktuelles aus 15 Ateliers". Asia Art Archive.
  28. "CHINA NOW!". Littmann Kulturprojekte.
  29. "Window in the Wall:India and China – Imaginary Conversations". DOUBAN.
  30. "ART FRONTIER Contemporary Art Exhibition". Artron.Net.
  31. "55th Venice Biennale • Voice of the Unseen". Art.163.
  32. "THE EXPOSURE AWARD—Art Photography Collection". issuu.
  33. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 34.4 Gallery (No.241), Lingnan Fine Arts Publishing House, 2018
  34. "HU ZHIYING's Installation: POSTCOLONIAL WORKSHOP in the Metropolitan Museum of Art". Yidian-Inc.
  35. Bao Dong. Beyond the Chains of Illusion— Hu Zhiying's Paintings 1989-2009. WorldCat. ISBN 978-988-18938-0-2. OCLC 728523572.
  36. Hu Zhiying. Western Contemporary Art State. Shanghai Library. ISBN 7-102-02714-1.

External links

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