…The quality of her work, and its very nature, raises some fundamental questions about art itself, and about the modern Chinese artists working in the international milieu... But what makes her work interesting is not its ‘Chinese-ness’... The great strength of her best work lies in the powerful tensions between line and mass, form and often daring colour. Her command of sculptural form is wonderfully expressed in her nudes, while her paintings in general seem to get close to the roots of aesthetic experience…

 

... From looking at her, one would not think Nancy was much concerned with form, but she is best known for her nudes, and especially for her paintings and drawings of women's backs... This sense of sculptural form, rather unusual for a Chinese painter, is what marks her own nudes. Sometimes it is emphatic, as in the panel of four figures entitled Quartet, sometimes more elusive, when the form seems to be dissolving before our eyes. Unlike the work of some leading members of the Avant-Garde, which has become endlessly repetitve, each of Nancy's nudes seems to express a new sensation, a new discovery; her visual vocabulary is distinct, uniquely hers, and she uses it with obvious pleasure. 

 

Many people know Nancy Chu Woo as sophisticated and widely travelled. Nancy the artist is a different preson altogether...beneath the facade is a profoundly serious painter, whose dialogue with the medium is carried on in an atmosphere of intense concentration, privacy, and an exhiliration that communicates itself to the viewer very directly. What more can we ask?

 

Professor Michael Sullivan

The late renowed art historian, Emeritus Fellow St Catherine's College at the University of Oxford

 

 


 

 

… She traverses cultural and artistic boundaries with great ease. All art, past or present, Chinese or foreign, only serves to formulate her personal expression. There is no conscious effort to select or blend, but an integrated personal style is evolved by an artist attuned to the internationalism of the modern world as well as the freedom and vitality of the modern spirit. In this way she exemplifies a new generation of modern artist in Hong Kong…

 

… she works in ink for her portrayal of human figures… In these paintings she blends brushed lines and ink washes to mould the powerful plastic forms of the nudes, while the diffusion of brush and ink over layers of absorbent xuan paper creates subtle luminosities and rich textures. With these special techniques she opens up a new horizon for painting nudes in ink…

 

Mayching Kao 
Former Chair Professor, Department of Fine Arts & Director, Art Museum, 
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

(Excerpt from Ink Paintings by Nancy Chu Woo, 2007)