Flower power: Chinese artist hails east-west dialogue with petals

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LONDON (Reuters) – The sweeping fields of flowers that fill the canvases at Zhuang Hong Yi’s new London exhibition are more than just depictions of the natural world – he says they are a dialogue between the cultures that have shaped his work.

For “Radiance”, which opened in London this week, Zhuang, 55, has created dozens of floral scenes by mounting thousands of flowers made from rice paper onto canvas and then painting them to add colour and texture.

The works change colour depending on the angle from which they are viewed.

Zhuang’s floral creations are influenced by materials from his native China – rice paper – and the flowered landscape of his adopted country – the Netherlands.

“I am from China and then I studied in Holland, I got a lot of influence from Western culture. So my work always contrasts two cultures and also the composition of the painting also is in contrast,” Zhuang told Reuters.

Zhuang’s creations have won him increasing critical and commercial success: he has exhibited at galleries and art fairs across Europe and the United States and is described by the exhibition organisers as the top-selling Asian artist in Britain.

“Radiance” runs until March 24 at the House of Fine Art (HOFA) gallery in London’s St. James district, before moving to a separate HOFA gallery in Mayfair from March 26 to April 8.

Reporting by Hanna Rantala; Writing by Mark Hanrahan; Editing by Alison Williams

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