China Daily Global Edition (USA)

Cuban artist works with Chinese inspiratio­n

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Havana — Cuban painter Flora Fong, a 71-year-old Chinese descendant who has been depicting life during the COVID-19 pandemic, is getting ready to participat­e in the Havana Biennial Art Exhibition scheduled for November.

“Every day, I find something new in the elements of the Chinese language and way of thinking,” says Fong at her home in Havana, where she has produced works of art that will form part of an exhibition themed around “the Silk Road”, which aims to explore the essence of Chinese culture and the country’s people.

The paintings will also be on display at a gallery the artist plans to open in Havana’s China Town by the second half of this year, if all goes as planned.

“Aside from works of art, the exhibition will include a silk clothing parade,” Fong says.

Fong, born in the central provspirit ince of Camaguey, was granted a scholarshi­p to study at the National School of Arts in Havana in the late 1960s. She has garnered recognitio­n and several awards during her career.

Over the past few decades, Fong’s works of art have been exhibited in various cities around the world, including Beijing, Shanghai and New York.

In her paintings, she blends the of her Caribbean environmen­t with her Chinese roots, which she inherited from her father, who is originally from Guangdong province. She has visited China several times.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic spread to the island in March 2020, the artist has been portraying Cuban women wearing colorful face masks, as encouragem­ent for people to respect the rules by wearing a mask, as well as serving as a memory of the battle against the virus.

Fong says that she wants to deliver a message through her work about the disruption of the lives of ordinary people caused by the global health crisis, as well as the importance of self-protection.

“I will continue painting all that I am feeling at the moment. The face masks are a testimony to current times, and part of a new artistic aesthetic,” she says.

Every day, I find something new in the elements of the Chinese language and way of thinking.”

Flora Fong, Cuban painter and a Chinese descendant

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