Hua Dan – the flowerism new series

The ‘Hua Dan’ Series by Ye Ruoshi


Ye Ruoshi caricatures contemporary existence through her series of figurative paintings. Though seemingly quirky at first glance her paintings are fully loaded with symbolisms that questions our perception of cultural perfection, identity and gender desires.

Her signature floral depictions from earlier painting series of ‘Flowerism’ and ‘Motherhood’ is apparent. This time, she has switched from abstraction to figurative paintings by drawing inspiration from her involvement in Cantonese opera performance, ‘Blythe’ dolls collection, toys belonging to her sons and household antiques.

A ‘Hua Dan’ is the prima donna of a chinese opera. This series of paintings presents a regular set of cast which juxtaposes the ‘Blythe’ dolls with other trinkets into a thought provoking narrative. These dolls has distinctively big, interchangeable glass eyes at the pull of a string that dangles from the back of its head.

The Cantonese Opera make-up, seductive undergarment and postures surrounded by toys that suggest a male presence and local objects seems to be at odd with each other. Intentionally, they form a narrative that suggest our multiplicity of culture and desires. This refreshing style is an amalgamation of various painting genre ranging from Pop to Surreal. Two dimensional graphics are interwoven with three dimensional still life, imagined figures and graphic icons into an exciting feast of colour and form.

Though these works invites an open interpretation by the viewer, Ruoshi seems to be making a social commentary on male and female differences in desires. The pull-string suggesting control and inhibition. Far from just an innocent reminiscing for playing with toys and exotic subject matter, these paintings are a serious reflection of our uniquely multi-racial culture and desires in a flat world.

-Kamal Dollah (M.A. in Contemporary Practise)

The followng are a few works from her new collection:

Title: Red Piano
Size: 61(l) x 76(w) cm
Medium: Oil on canvas
Year: 2008
Series: Hua Dan

Title: Tea with Mr. M
Size: 78(l) x 56(w) cm
Medium: Oil on canvas
Year: 2008
Series: Hua Dan

Title: The Bath
Size: 91(l) x 61(w) cm
Medium: Oil on canvas
Year: 2008
Series: Hua Dan

Title: The Play
Size: 74(l) x 50(w) cm
Medium: Oil on canvas
Year: 2008
Series: Hua Dan


6 thoughts on “Hua Dan – the flowerism new series

  1. saw u and ur works on tv last nite – i think your hua dan series do speak to present day s’poreans (old, new and retro elements) – a longer process of identity seeking. Really local, esp the rooster bowl and spitton. Struck me when u said something like, “if s’poreans like 5Cs den pursue it” – well put! Beautiful art pieces!! A chance to view them if possible? thanks.

  2. Dear Ruoshi,

    Im am very impressed by yr artistic talents and was quite sad not to be able to view the paintings of yr works in the gallery.Much to my surprise,I was very pleased to see your lovely works and I plan to get the card pack of seven.I hve already contacted the person in charge to order for some.I am wondering if u could kindly send me a link where I can view all the paintins of yr Hua Dan series.Its very very pretty,I plan to frame them all,probably give some to friends who could also admire the Hua Dan series

    Yours Sincerely,
    Joanne Teh

  3. Hi

    I saw your Hua Dan prints in a mall In Singapore when I was passing through, I would really love to purchase a set. How do I go about this? (I live in the UK)

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