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Patty Hudak and her "True Colors" in Beijing


Patty Hudak. Photo: by Rebecca Lin
Patty Hudak is a well-established American artist now based in Beijing. In her studio at Huantie Art City (环铁艺术区), the first international art community in Beijing which is home to many expatriate artists, she aims to carry forward her artistic career and ideas, while at the same time, contributing to bridge the cultural divide between China and the US. 
Hudak recently gave a speech at the Beijing American Center (北京美国中心), a venue for the US Embassy to hold cultural events targeted mainly at common Chinese, to kick off her solo painting exhibition at the center titled “True Colors”. 
In her passionate remarks, Hudak briefly introduced her “True Colors”—a series of oil painting works that intends to explore the way that colors interact with other colors and how colors interact with human emotions. The exhibition represents her artistic transition from purely black and white graphite drawing to abstract oil painting focusing on colors. 
“I am finding a release in color,” she told the packed house of fans at the Beijing American Center, “Working in color has brought me to a deeper emotional relationship with art. I hope that others will respond to the emotional elements in my paintings.” 
Several days later, Patty Hudak sat for an exclusive interview by, at a small coffee house in Beijing’s 798 Art District.  
The exhibited works of "True Colors" at Beijing American Center. Photo: by Rebecca Lin 
In love with Beijing 
“I love Beijing! I really love Beijing. My family and I are hoping to be here for another several years—to stay as long as we can,” said the sweet-faced lady with a pleasant tinkling note in her voice. She has lived in the city for five years and is emotionally attached to it. 
“When we first moved here, we took a train from Hong Kong to Beijing, because we wanted to see the whole country—and to have a real feeling of coming into Beijing,” recalled Hudak, confiding she felt as if she was heading home while on the train bound for Beijing. 
Now five years later, the talented American artist has toiled through the initial adjustment phase and established herself in Beijing’s thriving art scene. “Now, I have a positive feeling. There are all these possibilities here; everybody could reinvent themselves. It’s really exciting—it makes me want to believe in my dreams—to say ‘why not? I can do it’.” 
For Patty Hudak, Beijing is a positive place to be around “with all these developments, possibilities and changes”. 
Inspiration from color 
When Hudak first moved from rural Vermont to Hong Kong, the most frenetic metropolis in Asia, and then Beijing, the capital city of a growing China, she chose to release the uprooted and restless feeling through her art. It seems that, amid the major changes in life, the sensitive artist began to yearn for simplicity and calmness in her art. 
“I developed a stylized line—a perfect line, based on organic shapes from the lines in Chinese ink drawings. I was looking for focus, and I found it in the quiet study of line,” said Hudak, summarizing the style that dominated her portfolio for a whole seven years since moving to Asia. Actually, the pencil paintings finished in the past five years in Beijing are mostly inspired by traditional Chinese elements. “This one comes from the rope of Monkey King flying off; this one is inspired by the long sleeves of actress in Beijing opera; and this just resembles noodles,” introduced Hudak, pointing to the separate pictures of her works published in a magazine of American contemporary visual art.   
The fact is, though, that up until recently, she had been focused on line and purity, without color, in graphite drawings. 

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