FU TSO HSIN, Flower Talk, 2015, oil on canvas, 130 × 194 cm. Courtesy Parkview Art Hong Kong.

FU TSO HSIN, Golden Moon, 2015, oil on canvas, 125 × 97 cm. Courtesy Parkview Art Hong Kong. 

Moon’s Flower

Fu Tso Hsin

Parkview Art Hong Kong
Taiwan Hong Kong

As an artist matures, it is often that so, too, does their art. In the two decades since he began his art studies, Taiwanese painter Fu Tso Hsin has come a long way, shifting from his earlier conventional figurative paintings to arrive at his original visual language of today. For Fu’s debut solo show in Hong Kong, Parkview Art Hong Kong has selected works made within the last two years, which firmly ground the artist’s belief that “life is a journey that returns to nature.” Titled “Fu Tso Hsin: Moon’s Flower,” the exhibition showcases 25 paintings that each display meticulous attention to detail—a reflection of the artist’s former training as an engraver.

Born and raised in Taiwan, Fu completed his postgraduate studies in France’s L’Ecole des Beaux-arts de Versailles, an experience that allowed him to prevail over technical and expressive limits of being an artist. His studies in Taiwan gave him access to learn the techniques of Chinese art, while studying in France exposed him to new cultural influences and methods. The latter also enabled him to harmonize the East and West to create a new language of art, and one that is able to express his years of research and reflection.

FU TSO HSIN, Returning Anser, 2014, oil on canvas, two panels: 135 × 127 cm each. Courtesy Parkview Art Hong Kong.

Over the years, Fu has come to use his art as a means of achieving inner peace. In his work he incorporates such spiritual elements as the moon—a symbol of tranquility and carrier of human emotions in traditional Chinese culture, while also abundant in many Western cultures for the mystical qualities it is associated with. In Golden Moon (2015) a dark red background evokes an intense and somewhat intimidating wash of emotion, which is softened by a golden crescent moon and multiple white flowers that fall from the sky. Intricately detailed patterns, composed of very small, delicately painted white marks, adds an extra layer of visual dynamism to the painting. The addition of such gestural effects is a common thread that runs through all of Fu’s recent paintings, and signals a new phase in the artist’s practice.

As the exhibition title makes clear, the moon and flowers are motifs that are repeated throughout the paintings. Fu’s diptych Returning Anser (2014) has a deep-red full moon set in a soothing blue background. Faint, white gestures, which seem to mimic wind flowing through the sky, immediately gives off the feeling that you’re looking at the skies. Meanwhile, the wind is blowing around flowers painted in flat black, which almost appear to be dancing.

The use of layering appears heavily in Fu’s strongest work, allowing his paintings to reveal their complexities as you gaze into them. Birth of Light (2013) demonstrates Fu’s ability to layer seamlessly. The crisp silhouettes of trees and branches are set against a background of thick fog. The white painterly gestures, as those seen in other works, make an appearance here like a heavy cloud from the sky. The cloud’s uninterupted connection with the dense fog brings the work a sense of sheer beauty and peace.

FU TSO HSIN, Birth of Light, 2013, oil on canvas, 120 × 162 cm. Courtesy Parkview Art Hong Kong.

Often incorporating human faces and figures into his works, Flower Talk (2015), comprising the silhouette of a man’s head and the head and torso of a woman, merges with Fu’s black trees and branches. Pink flowers and Fu’s signature painterly gestures of wind in a raspberry red hue give the work an oriental sensitivity, evoking Fu’s interest in bringing together aspects of East and West in his practice.

Through his tranquil, painted worlds, Fu attempts to find his inner peace, while, at the same time, bring a fresh angle from which to consider contemporary art—one that is not bound by cultures, but rather almagamates it to bring about a unique, visual language.

“Fu Tso Hsin: Moon’s Flower” is on view at Parkview Art Hong Kong, until March 12, 2016.