British Chinese Artist Profile: Anita Yan Wong, International Artist, Educator and Thinker

Prof. Anita Yan Wong (pseudonym: 大白菜), is a specialist in modern and traditional Chinese art and is a long time pupil of 辛鵬九‒ a world-renowned Lingnan style master and one of the first pupils of Chao Shao An. She received her B.A. (Honours) 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.





Prof. Wong gained her Electronic Media and Culture Professorship and Award Excellence Scholarship from Maryland Institute College of Art M.D. and was recognised “Teaching excellence honour” from the art institute. Wong 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 she was 10 years old. As a young artist, she had spent many hours caring and observing birds, captivated by their beauty, the animals and nature became the subject to her art ever since.

The international artist’s 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 – her art influences comes from living in Beijing, Hong Kong, London and the United States. Capturing the traditional and the modern, eastern and western, the artist’s recent works have been dealing with individualism in the viewerʼs eyes, patterns in nature and “The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction”, an essay German cultural critic Walter Benjamin.



Wong’s painting series “Rorschach”, 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 da Vinci 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. Anitaʼs art is perhaps not just a beautiful visual display but a performance and act as “Guo hua” – one of the oldest art form being painted with a brush and edited with a mouse by a modern Chinese artist with an international identity.

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