Rao Fu

Photograph of Rao Fu


Rao Fu (b. 1978) is a Chinese artist living and working in Dresden, Germany.

From 1999 to 2001, Rao studied design at Tsinghua University in Beijing; and from 2002 to 2010 painting
and graphic arts, as well as art therapy, at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. During his undergraduate studies with Siegfried Klotz and Elke Hopfe, he tackled, amongst other things, the traditional painting methods of the Dresden School. In 2008, he became a master student with Prof. Ralf Kerbach. During his studies, Rao Fu received the DAAD Scholarship for Fine Arts in 2006 and a grant from the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation from 2008 to 2012. In the following years, he was awarded a scholarship from the Cultural Donation of the Free State of Saxony in 2014 and additionally the ‘Heimspiel-Stipendium’, sponsored by the Cotton Mill Leipzig, from the Cultural Donation of the Free State of Saxony in 2016. In 2020, he was honored with the grant ‘Denkzeit,’ sponsored by the Cultural Donation of the Free State of Saxony.

The works of Rao Fu symbolize a combination between the different cultures and philosophies of East and West. He creates his own language of colour and forms out of the wide range of traditional Chinese landscape painting, calligraphy and European painting, especially the Dresden School, as well as Edvard Munch, Peter Doig and Daniel Richter. In this way, he expands the Saxon Neo-expressionism using Asian components. In his paintings, many different techniques can be found, for instance, a combination of traditional calligraphy, colourenergetic aspects and figural painting. Topics like dream and reality, mixed worlds and Rao Fu’s personal life play a big role in his work. The atmosphere is intensified by an expressive play of colours opening free spaces for the observer with pyrrho-orange and dark blue taking on an increasingly important role. He uses the dissemination of the view through targeted directing and diverting as a main element. Also, he is increasingly working on large formats with figure and shades of colour moving to the foreground. His art combines European and Chinese culture as well as their specific way of thinking while being open to global discourse. It also invites reflection and debate over cultural hybridity.