Patty Hudak and Catherine Cheng

Ten years ago, Patty Hudak moved with her family to Hong Kong from the United States due to her husband’s new work assignment in Asia. After traveling to China, she immediately felt drawn to Beijing, as the feeling and artistic ambience reminded her of  of the years she spent developing her art career in New York City. After some discussion, her husband’s company changed the assignment from Hong Kong to Beijing, allowing Patty to immerse herself in the vibrant and thriving art scene in Beijing. .

Patty graduated with honors from Wellesley College, with a BA degree in Studio Art, and received numerous scholarships for study, as well as two traveling scholarships to practice art in Italy and France. In late 1980’s, she set up her studio in New York City, where she became obsessed by the black and white line, creating large number of works based on its simplicity and its elegance. These works established her simple drawing language by its unique floating movement and beauty of metaphor. Her works has been exhibited in galleries in New York, art salons as well as art festivals in USA.

Since 2008, she established her painting studio in Beijing, and indulged herself quickly into the active art scene in Beijing. Along with her painting, she also curates exhibitions and lectures on painting and art. Her paintings have been widely exhibited in Beijing, including at the American Center in  Beijing and art galleries in Beijing’s 798 Art District and elsewhere.  Her paintings combine her memory and emotions, while absorbing the Oriental Ink Spirit and different styles of Western abstraction. Her work has extended from black and white, to colors, from paper and film, to canvas. Her recent oil paintings work with the theme of the Chinese Five Elements, an important subject after 7 years in China, and it is a landmark in her painting career.  These works reflect the fusion of her understanding and love of both Oriental culture and American abstraction.

“Sailing to Byzantium”, a recently completed 25 meter long painting installation work by Patty,  is an inspiration from the poetry by WB Yeats, the great Irish poet. This work combines her fluent line skill, oriental calligraphy expression, as well as freedom in her use of media. By lending the metaphor of Yeats’ poem, Patty aims to present us with an eternal aesthetics that brings art, poem and life into one.

Patty, to me, is not only a painter and friend,  but more a good example of being a woman that plays different roles in life; she is a loving mother, a caring wife, a good friend, and a teacher. Her journey in China is a memorable one to Patty’s life and art, and it will be an eternal journey for her.

By Catherine Cheng, Curator
Beijing, China