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The Strong Women of Hu Ming

Juxtapoz // Tuesday, 18 Aug 2009



“The dominance of women, moreover of naked Chinese women, is a striking feature of Hu Ming's recent paintings,” writes Mabel Lee, Honorary Associate in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney.

“The women are supremely comfortable with the sensuousness of their bodies, whether they are representations of young peasant workers or soldiers in a North China setting or of Chinese women in Auckland, where the artist from Beijing lived for ten years before relocating to Sydney in 1999. These virile women have abundant bottoms that exude strength and fecundity, and arms and legs that have been thickened by physical labour.”

Hu Ming's parents were doctors and served in the army. When Hu Ming was a little girl, her parents always told her "You have the hands of an eye surgeon we hope you will be a doctor". However Hu Ming took no interest in it, she only wanted to paint. While she was in high school the Chinese Cultural Revolution was in full swing. Consequently because her teacher knew Hu Ming like to draw, he let her draw Chairman Mao's portrait. However Hu Ming's mother was very concerned about this and mentioned to her daughter "If you cannot draw Chairman Mao's portrait precisely then it will be big trouble for our family, you may even be placed in jail, so please daughter practice draft after draft, until you feel sure you can do it."

Aside from her amazing artistry, Ming has a stunning life story. Get to know her at




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