Looking back at Hu Mingzhe’s Mote exhibition at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, May 2011.

I was first introduced to Hu Mingzhe’s work through a young student of hers who first introduced me to traditional heavy rock color painting- aka Nihonga in Chicago in 2001. At that time, her work depicted the human figure (you can see these in the video as well). Hu Mingzhe’s newer works in the Mote exhibition, which opened in May 2011 at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, focus on the relationship between human beings and the universe, feeling the greatness of nature and the insignificance of human beings. The word mote stems from Buddhism, which means that the constituent part of everything in the universe is made of tiny particles, and its immensity is beyond limitation, as is its smallness.

Hu Mingzhe is a professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing) and a former visiting scholar at Tama University and Tokyo University of Fine Arts, Japan.


The Painting of Sadness? The Beginnings and Ends of Nihonga.

Chelsea Foxwell, assistant professor of Asian Art History at the University of Chicago confronts the definition of Nihonga and where its “category” begins and ends. She examines traditional Japanese paintings historical lineage, its position as a conceptual construct and validates its existence within a more global, contemporary worldview.