New York

Hankang Huang

Danese

There’s a delicacy of handling in Chinese artist Hankang Huang’s watercolors that is clearly derived from his traditional training at the Art College of Suzhou University. In A Problem of Self, 2005, for example, the black strokes that form the stripes of tigers, the faint outlines that mark the limits of their bodies, and the way that they stand on the open expanse of white paper are all consistent with pictorial conventions that date back many centuries. But the image is witty as well as formally refined, the title suggesting the conceptual character of the work: The tigers move in opposite directions, but their tails are tied together in a tug-of-war that suggests a conflict between the two halves of a divided self, for the tigers are mirror images of one another.

Their psychological implications aside, the tigers might also symbolize China itself, a nation drawn irresistibly to the

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