"Timelessness through simplicity" is my motto, as well as my aspiration and steadfast pursuit in painting.
- Fang Hui
Fang was born in 1965 and graduated from the Provincial Art and Craft institute in Hebei. He started painting from a young age and particularly liked to experiment with the color blue. He loved to paint with the blue pigments of flowers, so much that his teacher and classmates nicknamed him "The Violet Killer". His obsession with the color followed him throughout his artistic career for it enabled him to reminisce about his childhood, helping him to recall and analyze the past.
As time passed though, he discovered that it was not enough for him to express his thoughts and feelings with painting violets, for it revealed to be at times inappropriate or superficial. He feels that one has to make a connection with the color from afar first, before getting an up-close appraisal of the temperament and quality of the central figures. Colors have unique abilities to arouse specific emotions and feelings, and are thus what he primarily wants his viewers to comprehend.
Children are Fang's favorite subject matter because they naturally possess a sense of timelessness about them; they are able to impart a noticeable air of reminiscence to his art. Yet there is nothing brash or impetuous about the children he depicts, nor do they display any violent emotions; they seem rather to exist in a state of muted contemplation or in the midst of some quiet sorrow. In his paintings it is as if their thoughts are not on the future at all, but firmly set on the past, and we can only assume that these children have taken up the burden of Fang's own deep sense of nostalgia.
Revelation and exploration into the human psyche can be seen as the central preoccupation of Fang's work. However, the interior life of a person can only ever be revealed through one's particular exterior characteristics. Fang's paintings require the viewer to move up close to examine in details the minutiae of the figure's expressions; as such the key to a piece may sometimes lie in the barest upturning of the mouth, in the slightest arching of an eyebrow, or sometimes in the play of a strand of hair. The artist looks to render a unique message of stillness and calm: an independent sphere of tranquility. Beneath the calm exterior of the main element, lie the touching moments of his memories, which Fang leaves his audience to appreciate.