Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Zhongwen Hu Meditates on Presence and Emotional Sensitivity in Her Abundant Scenes of Nature

Must read



Art

#acrylic painting #nature #painting #Zhongwen Hu

three individuals in swim gear sit on each others shoulders in a body of water

“Pool” (2023). All images © Zhongwen Hu, shared with permission

Throughout Zhongwen Hu’s most recent Day Tripper series, two things ceaselessly pervade: nature and contemplation. Abstract reflections ripple on a riverbank, umbrella-like trees provide communal shade, and figures trek across brilliant terrain in the Shanghai-based artist’s musing acrylic paintings.

Akin to a montage of fleeting moments, each work takes the viewer from scene to scene, depicting meaningful narratives that stem from Hu’s experiences. Profoundly observant of nature and sensitive to the wistful allure of mundane life, the artist often takes photos of her surroundings during moments of tenderness to make sketches before painting. This attentive process allows for Hu to seamlessly place an almost tangible tranquility into the viewer’s hands.

Deeply inspired by walking meditation, an introspective practice that originated from Buddhism, Hu cultivates mindfulness within her own work by embracing the beauty of being present. “I’m really interested in the relationship between consciousness and spacetime,” the artist tells Colossal, explaining further:

That is, to discard the distractions of thought, and to embrace the unbridled sensations of objects and our surroundings. At the same time—since time does not, in some ways, exist—the past and future only exist in the mind, and the only moment that can be experienced is the present. Such a fixation on the present can help to extricate thought and judgement, a state of mind that I believe is a gateway to self-healing.

See more work on Hu’s website and Instagram.

a body of water near a forest is various hues of green, depicting reflections of the water in a patterned and abstract way.

“Riverbank” (2023)

a very large window reveals vast trees as it rains. inside, a figure sits on a couch and looks down at their phone.

“Spring Rain” (2023)

in the middle of a body of water, a small island-like formation with purple and pink grass sits. people walking around the formation.

“Playground” (2023)

a very large tree provides shade for groups of people sitting on benches underneath it.

“Deep Breathing” (2023)

a tall tree sways in the wind during either dusk or dawn

“Willow 2” (2023)

a small boat travels across a lake at sunset.

“Yellow” (2023)

a surreal piece of curved land in hues of orange, yellow, and pink.

“To Somewhere Upward” (2023)

a gardener with a hose, among trees and grass

“Sprinkler Guy” (2023)

two men in black suits stand in a garden

“Security Guards” (2022)

a tall tree sways in the wind during the day

“Willow 1” (2023)

two people look ahead, past a pond of green hues.

“Explorers” (2022)

#acrylic painting #nature #painting #Zhongwen Hu

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You’ll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!

More articles

Latest article