Zhuang Hong Yi creates devoutly manipulated paper flower fields in his second solo show at Unit London

By using traditional Chinese materials with references to Western impressionism, Yi turns each piece into a reflection of both his cultural heritage and his life in Europe.

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Born in ShiChuan, China, in 1962, Zhuang Hong Yi is one of the most impressive artists you would find nowadays and now, following the success of his last solo show RAW – which opened Unit London gallery in Soho –  is back with RAW II. He is recognised for fusing sculpture and painting, giving to his work a characteristic three-dimensional effect. But the most wonderful thing about Zhuang’s work is that requires the visitor to adopt a participant role within the painting.

Such is the case of his work, Blue Shadows. If viewed from the front, the ‘viewer-participant’ appreciates a mixture of pink, white and blue tones; when you are on the right side you will be able to perceive three different shades of blue: clear, sky blue and navy blue; and the left side gives you shades of pink: lavender, purple and violet. It would seem an act of magic to achieve such a change of colours within a single space, especially in the subtle, truly beautiful, brilliant, elegant and precise manner in which he plays with audiences who fail to understand how it works.

All his paintings are full of colour and texture and while this looks 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.  His work is inviting and seductive and reflects his desire to evoke in the viewer a magnetism between the tactile and delicate floral forms, made one by one with rice paper, through vibrant colours that blend dynamically between texture and brightness.

In this fantastic exhibition, which runs until the 14 of April, renewal and tradition go hand by hand, in a brilliant dialogue between traditionalist canons and contemporary conceptualism where Zhuang Hong Yi has the loudest word.

RAW II runs until April 14th, for more information head to the Unit London website. 

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