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Founder and Curator of Behance Asia Team

The Artist:
Anita Yan Wong, M.F.A.
pseudonym: 大白菜
The name of the artist ages with time from 小白菜 to 大白菜 and one day to 老白菜
International Artist, Educator and Thinker

A Specialist in Modern and traditional Chinese art, is a long time… Read More
Founder and Curator of Behance Asia Team

The Artist:
Anita Yan Wong, M.F.A.
pseudonym: 大白菜
The name of the artist ages with time from 小白菜 to 大白菜 and one day to 老白菜
International Artist, Educator and Thinker

A Specialist in Modern and traditional Chinese art, is a long time pupil of 辛鵬九– a World-renowned Lingnan style master (嶺南畫派) and first pupils of Chao Shao An and Pu Hsin-Yu (Aisin-Gioro Puru), cousin of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China. Anita is the 4th generations of Lingnan masters specializes in both traditional and modern arts. She received her B.A. (Honors) in Graphic Design from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and her M.F.A. and M.A. in Digital Photography and Digital Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art. Her works was featured on “N.Y. Arts” Magazine, Emmy Award “Funny or Die” Magazine and was awarded 1st place wall art by “Design within Reach” Design Philadelphia Award. Prof. Wong gained her Electronic Media and Culture Professorship and Award Excellence Scholarship from Maryland Institute College of Art M.D. and was recognized “Teaching excellence honor” from the Art Institute. She also served as a reviewer and guest speaker at AIGA and SVA for Film & Television Director Bob Giraldi (best known for Michael Jackson “Beat it” music video) She was the youngest member at Hong Kong International Art Club and Photography Club, where her works were exhibited Internationally since 10 years old. As a young artist, Anita has spent many hours caring and observing birds, she has been captivated by their beauty where animals and nature became the subject to her art ever since. Her painting style is traditional “xie yi” (寫意), in which her brush strokes are expressive yet delicate and precise. Her paintings are a display of her Identity – an International artist that lived in Beijing, Hong Kong, London and the United States. Her art captivates the traditional and the modern, eastern and western – a new group of International viewers. Anita's recent works have been dealing with Individualism in the viewer’s eyes, patterns in nature and "The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction", an essay German cultural critic Walter Benjamin. Her current works are featured on Neehao U.K. Magazine, Interview and Cover story of Artdependence Magazine. Yale University China Hands Magazine described her paintings as “Traditional art form that questions the Modern Minds”.

Her painting series "Rorschach" for example, offers the viewer a Rorschach test, which invites them to question openly on what the individual sees. This invitation lets the viewer see art with not just the eyes but also the mind. As we display more and more art on the Internet in the digital age, we tend to forget the “aura” and authenticity of the original work, the smell of ink and texture of the rice paper for instance. Her works visually and silently questions “Individualism” of her viewers and remind them of the “aura” in the original paintings. Using interpretation of "ambiguous designs" to assess an individual's personality is an idea that goes back to Leonardo daVinci and Botticelli. Perhaps, how the artist creates art is no longer the biggest question, it is how the viewers choose to see and what they value that mattered the most. Anita’s art is perhaps not just a beautiful visual display but a performance and Act as “Guo hua” – one of the oldest art form is being painted with a brush and edited with a mouse by a modern Chinese artist with an International Identity.

“Earth breathes flowers so that it could take our breath away.” – Anita Yan Wong
My current works have been dealing with preservation of Nature and the ancient art form that honors it – “Guo hua”; patterns in nature and the work of traditional Arts in the digital art age. In “Preserved” painting series, I have preserved strange finds from nature under glass with backgrounds of “Guo hua’, both fragile but beautiful. They are given a second life and are frozen in time with new meanings under the glass, they tell stories of their existence

Her goal of promoting the practice of traditional art form:
Yet guo hua and calligraphy were once practiced in everyday life among Chinese, the practice is no longer by many as the society rely more and more on computers in generating informations. Many believes perhaps the best way of preserving a tradition like guo hua is to make it adapt to the current time and Culture. Through this, it will be appreciated and communicated in the way that it was meant to be. However, as Chinese art becomes one of the leading role in World art trades, many has rushed it with trends without the daily practice to master the painting skills and understanding the core meaning and knowledge of the profound art form. Did Modern Chinese art inspired more to practice Guo hua or did we all jumped into the new pool of Modern Chinese art without much thinking of the original art form – an art form honoring and expressing the human appreciation and relation of nature.
Are we trashing away the old without much studying of its true value and beauty?
Anita's belief is simple: She believes it is important to take ones time to understand the root, the theory and true beauty in Guo hua, in particular Lingnan style Guo hua, master the brush and skill of this profound art form before attempting to transform and develop it into Modern art form. The artist believes the knowledge and true beauty in the art form takes effort to understand and master. It takes years of practice and research to master the art form. Her goal is to both keep the true beauty of this art form alive, encourage practice but at the same time move it forward with updated scientific and social meanings that communicate with the modern minds without giving up its root or blindly following some trends. Her goal is to push the limits of Lingnan Guo hua.
Lingnan style Guo hua was once considered the most lively and modernest of Guo hua in the early 19th century when three Chinese traditional Guo hua masters went to Tokyo Japan for with a open mind and wish for enlightenment during the Meiji period. They came back to China with a new style of Guo hua (Lingnan style). The art was born during World War II and was considered by some as"too Japanese" during the war but the beautiful art form was also admired by many painters and scholars and was quickly spread to cities like Shanghai and Beijing before and after the War. Its success plays a key role in Modern Chinese painting. It was brought to Hong Kong by Master and World re-owned painter Chao Shao An. (A pupil of Gao, a second generation Lingnan master and my teacher's teacher) With his effort, the Lingnan style Guo hua was considered the most beautiful and lively Guo hua during the 19th century, described by scholars as "an art so beautiful and lively that is competing with the beauty of nature". Although Lingnan school of Art occupied a crucial role in history of Chinese painting and was considered the most modern of Guo hua with the efforts of the group "Tianfeng Seven" – The Tianfeng Seven are Zhou Yifeng (1890-1982), Zhang Kunyi (1895-1967), Ye Shaobing (1896-1968), He Qiyuan (1899-1970), Huang Shaoqiang (1901-1942), Rong Shushi (1903-1996) and Chao Shao-an (1905-1998).
These days with not many pupils of practice and pushing its boundary, Lingnan Guo hua is also considered by some as an art that did not progress in the Modern art world and a dying art form. My goal is to push it forward and keep it alive. Open its possibilities with the help of leading scientists and socialists and biologists. to update its message to us and let it speak again.
As technology grows, the World Wide Web has brought our World into one, we all influence each other and our World is getting smaller and smaller day by day. I lived in Beijing, Hong Kong, London and U.S. and I consider myself an "International artist" creating "traditional modern Arts" in the digital art age. Like me, Lingnan style Guo hua was a traditional Chinese art with open mind and heart, it has humbly opened its doors to western influence during the most difficult time. It showed us Art melts away boundaries and brought us together with its beauty. It is a non verbal language that speaks to the hearts and minds. I would like the art form to spread the words for Nature, Peace and Unity.

"An art form that took thousands of years of development takes time to understand, we do not want to create art without understanding the root and not knowing the tools. Through research and practice, we are to appreciate its true beauty and the knowledge contained within it. It is important to build a good foundation before attempting to transform and develop this old and profound art form into Modern art. The goal is to move this art form forward and reach a young generation of viewers with modern taste and mind, while keeping the art form alive." – Anita Yan Wong ​​


Web reference:
{國畫型人] Owner and Director
http://guohuamodernist.weebly.com
More projects:
http://www.behance.net/anitawong

Faculty member & Professorship:
School of Visual Arts, New York City
Maryland Institute College of Art, Maryland
Tyler School of Arts, Temple University, Philadelphia
The Art Institute, Philadelphia
AIGA professional portfolio reviewer

Educational Background:
M.F.A in Digital Imaging and Photography, Maryland Institute College of Art
M.A. in Digital Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art
​B.A. (Honors) in Graphic Design, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London
Art & Design, Polytechnic University, Hong Kong


The ancient art of rice paper painting,
Rice paper painting: (guó huà), *Shui-mo huà OR sumi-e, is strikingly beautiful, simple and pure, yet strong and resonant. An art form expressing the human appreciation of nature, the art of brush (pi) painting is executed with black ink on white or yellow rice paper using bamboo brushes. Subjects in rice paper painting include landscapes, flowers, or animals, anything that suggests a closeness to the natural world.

Terminology:
*Xie –yi (寫意) is one of the oldest traditional forms of expressive Chinese art, is considered to be expressive/freehand style in the west.
*Shui-mo (水墨), “shui” means “water” and “mo” means “ink.” Water and ink on rice paper (Shiuan paper) have allowed artists to reveal the harmony of man and nature for thousands of years. The oldest rice paper painting still preserved dates from between 100 and 200 B.C.E. Rice paper was widely used by artists and calligraphers in Asia beginning around the sixth century. Read Less
M.F.A., M.A., B.A.(Hons)
– Maryland Institute College of Art, Maryland U.S.A.
– Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, London U.K.
– Polytechnic University, Hong Kong China


-China hands Yale University Magazine
-New York Arts Magazine
-Design within Reach
Design Philadelphia 1st place Wall art
-Funny or Die Emmy Award winning Magazine
-Artdependence Magazine Cover story and Interview
-AAAC Archive (Asian American Arts Centre N.Y.C.)
-Art Reveal Magazine
-Bizarre beyond belief Mag… Read More
-China hands Yale University Magazine
-New York Arts Magazine
-Design within Reach
Design Philadelphia 1st place Wall art
-Funny or Die Emmy Award winning Magazine
-Artdependence Magazine Cover story and Interview
-AAAC Archive (Asian American Arts Centre N.Y.C.)
-Art Reveal Magazine
-Bizarre beyond belief Magazine
-Vida design San Francisco
-China Underground Magazine
-Neehao U.K. Magazine
-Cinaoggi.it Magazine
-Artists inspire Artists.com
–SFarts.org
–Everything with a twist.com
–Style no chaser.com
–Philadelphia City Paper Read Less
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