The Year of the Snake

We welcome in the Chinese New Year “The Year of the Snake”  and acknowledge two of our artists of Chinese Heritage Fu Hong and Echo Chai. Fu Hong was born in China in 1946 and arrived in Australia in 1990, a place he now calls his home. Renowned for his paintings of many famous Australians, including philanthropist  DameElisabeth Murdoch 1909 –2012 , Dr Joseph Brown 1933-2009  (NB both portraits were selected as  finalists in The Archibald Prize 2008/2009) and Li Cunxin  (Mao’s Last Dancer, recently  appointed Artistic Director, Queensland Ballet.) Fu Hong  is undeniably a master of composition, light and colour.  The luminous bursts of colour that often appear are mirror images of Fu Hong's own infectious exuberance for life.

Echo Chai   graduated from Peking University  with a Bachelor Degree of Art in Literature in Beijing, China and moved to Australia  in 1989. Echo was mentored in oil painting by the highly commended artist Fu Hong. She has been awarded and selected as a finalist in numerous art awards.  Echo is also a photographer and in 2009 was a finalist of the NTDTV Photography Competition  in New York, USA.

Fu Hong and Echo Chai are both busy celebrating Chinese New Year, but we promise we will catch up with them for an interview. So stay tuned for an insight into the world of these two very accomplished artists.  In the meantime enjoy their paintings available at Red Hill Gallery.

In the “Year of the Snake” we also salute a Brisbane icon Eddie Liu OBE, OAM   a long time friend of our Gallery Director Graham Campbell-Ryder and well respected patriarch of the Chinese community in Brisbane

What would Chinese New Year be without food, our favourite restaurant the award winning China Seas at Milton will be cooking up a storm. We recommend you try their Salt and Pepper Squid

Many will have fond memories of Celebrating Chinese New Year.  Our director Margaret Campbell-Ryder remembers well the many celebrations she attended growing up in Bendigo,  Victoria particularly the Bendigo Easter Fair.  The Easter procession and the main highlight was the Chinese Dragon “Sun Loong,  the longest imperial dragon in the world, dancing through the streets of Bendigo.

Every year her family would be there to see this magnificent Dragon and marvel at its beauty but Margaret does admit to hiding behind her dad and peeping out sometimes.  (NO - we find that hard to believe!)  Today that beautiful piece of heritage still resides in its home in Bendigo, in the Golden Dragon Museum  one of the oldest Chinese communities in Australia with a tradition dating back as far as maybe 1850’s -1880’s?

Do you too have fond memories of celebrating Chinese New year? Will you be embracing the Year of the Snake in 2013?

Meanwhile Happy Chinese New Year, Gong Hey Fat Choy 新年快.