With an obsessive approach to materials, in his first U.S. solo show at NYC's Keszler gallery Chinese-born, Dutch-raised artist Zhuang Hong Yi manipulates thousands of rice paper flowers. Combining them with layers of acrylic and oil paint, he creates large-scale fields of petals—both on canvas and in coffee tables.
While the swaths of color and texture look beautiful from afar, getting up close and spending some time with the work reveals an intensive process of many bends, twists, and layers of paint. Some of the flowers fields reveal layers of color, while others are monochromatic. If you look closely enough (and the gallery has a couple of the flowers out to touch), you can see the original form of the paper.
By using traditional Chinese materials to create pieces influenced by his life in the Netherlands and with references to Western impressionism, Yi turns each piece into a reflection on both his cultural heritage and his life in Europe.
Zhuang Hong Yi's new works are on view at the Keszler Gallery until 21 July 2010.