Yale University features– China hands Magazine

  • China hands Magazine– published by Yale University Professor and students 
    Fall 2016 - Vol.5, Issue I:

    Traditional Art form questioning the Modern Minds: "RORSCHACH" 
    ANITA YAN WONG is a specialist in modern and traditional Chinese art. 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. 
    “Rorschach”, a series of works inspired by patterns in nature and conceptually questions Individualism of the digital art age once questioned by German cultural critic Walter Benjamin in his essay—The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. 
    This painting series 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, the traditional art form questions the modern minds and challenges them to think as they view one of the oldest art form Guo Hua in digital format. 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. Subjects are chosen in her paintings for its symbolic meanings. Let us open our mind through the “Rorschach” series and think deeper about Guo Hua as this oldest form of art alive is displayed on your very own computer screen.
  • Artist and Professor Anita Yan Wong Talks "Guo hua and its symbolic meaning"
  • Traditional Art form questioning the Modern Minds: "RORSCHACH" 
  • “Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye… it also includes the inner pictures of the soul” – Edvard Munch
    Nature and its Patterns is the inspiration of Anita’s Art; subjects of her paintings are chosen for their symbolic meanings for the purpose of storytelling.
  • “Message from the black crows” in the Rorschach series
  • Symbolic meaning of black crows: known by Chinese as filial piety “Xiao” in nature, a selfless dedication and chief believe among the Confucian. It is a bird with an interesting social behavior, young crows communication with their parents and help them bring up the next generation.
    Black crows in “Rorschach” series silently question the relationship of old and young. It is a metaphor of old generations verses the young generations of viewers; traditional art form verses the digital art form. “Xiao” the young respecting the “Old”, is a belief somehow purposely being ignored in the fast moving money driven modern art world. As a society, one tends to prefer new over the old ones. These choices influence how individual artists and art communities create art, which in a large scale forms arts, culture and human history. What one cherishes and what traditions we choose to keep as a society is up to the viewers to decide if one thinks in a small scale. “Guo hua” along with Calligraphy, one of the profoundly beautiful art form, once a common practice in China by every household is being seen by many as old traditions and as a dying art form. In the digital age, we tend to choose typing an email or text over writing a letter; we choose to display “new art” over the old. Fast choices are being made to trash away the old. Perhaps viewing “Rorschach” we realized 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.

    “Message from the clever fruit” in the Rorschach series
  • Symbolic meaning of Lychee: Also known as Li-zi (利子), wishing for a clever intelligent son. “Being fruitful with ones cleverness” is what the artist presents to us in this piece. Perhaps the clever lychee fruits are whispering to us and reminding us that the outcome could be fruitful if one makes choices with not just their eyes but their mind.

    “Message from a gentlemen” in Rorschach series
  • Symbolic meaning of Bamboo: A gentleman with perfect virtues, it is firm but flexible; graceful but strong. When the storm comes, bamboo bends; when the storm ends, bamboo uprights. Bamboo, the most popular plant in China is presented in “Rorschach” by the artist as an icon of ability to cope with its environment.

    “Tiger skin” in Rorschach series
  • Symbolic meaning of Tiger: Tiger is considered the king of all beasts in China, its pattern is widely used in many cultures, Exactly what psychological effects it plays on our mind is being studied by many psychologist.
  • “Through the peacock’s eyes” in Rorschach series
  • Symbolic meaning of peacock: Peacock is considered by Chinese as Queen of all birds and heavenly Phoenix on earth, it has one hundred eyes on its tail. The eyes represent seeing, insight and wisdom.


    “Message in the feathers” in Rorschach series
  • “Conversations” in Rorschach series

  • “I would like to paint the way a Bird sings.” – Claude Monet
    Symbolic meaning of birds: Bird is the symbol of freedom and perspective. Sparrows are the most common bird; it is why its beauty and
    power is often being taken for granted. Sparrows are often found in Anita’s art as a symbol of individualism and a reminder that we do not
    have to be big to make a difference. We each make choices on art, both viewers and artist; we each play an important role in forming art,
    trending art and forming art culture as a whole.


    “Squirrels” in Rorschach series
  • Squirrels, playful but always prepared for the future,
    A little animal that reminds us to have fun and use our creativity but be resourceful with what is given to us.
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