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Flora Fong


FLORA FONG GARCÍA - Camagüey, November 8, 1949 Having concluded studies at the Provincial School of Plastic Arts of Camagüey, she graduated from the National School of Art of Havana in 1970 and was a teacher at San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts until 1989. Member of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) and of the International Association of Plastic Artists (AIAP). She has broached painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, the stained-glass technique, fabric design and the construction of kites with the Oriental technique. In 1988 she received a study grant from the Italian government. She traveled to China in a cultural exchange mission in 1989 and in 1997 presented a solo show at the Workers’ Palace of Culture in Beijing. Her works have been exhibited in the United States of America, Malaysia, Germany, Russia, Spain, Mexico, the United Kingdom, China, Portugal, Italy, France, Japan and South Korea, among other countries. She has deserved numerous prizes and distinctions because of the quality of her work since 1970, year of her graduation, up to the present. The Council of State of the Republic of Cuba granted her the Distinction for National Culture in 1988. In 1989 she received the distinction “23 de Agosto” granted by the Federation of Cuban Women and in 1999 the distinction “Illustrious Daughter of the City of Camagüey”, as well as the acknowledgment “Espejo de Paciencia” from the Provincial Authority of Culture in Camagüey. In 2002 she received the Diploma for Artistic Merit from the Higher Institute of Art. In 2005 she obtained the distinction “Gitana Tropical”, which is granted by the Provincial Authority of Culture in Havana, and in 2006 the Giraldilla of Havana from the Provincial Government. In 2007 the Higher Institute of Art (ISA) granted her the Special Teaching Category of Consultant Professor. --- The blood that runs through Flora Fong’s veins marked her painting before she made the journey that took her to the land of her grandparents, the Taoist China of the lotus root and the imperial jade. As with Wifredo Lam, the fine and firm trace granted personality to her work and placed her right from the start among the most outstanding artists of her graduating class. Her style had developed from a tradition; it did not emerge as a discovery or a divine miracle. Her style was in her roots and in the way in which she, perhaps unwittingly, exploited its characteristics. I have always connected her work with her person, which is completely inevitable in the case of an artist of such authenticity. However, in that comparison I find a contradiction that always puzzles me. The delicacy of her person, her sweet behavior, of profound and laconic tenderness, contrasts with the strong stroke, like an explosion of her brush. The canvas seems to be the only target in the world to receive the violence of her temperament. A feminine violence, transgressor of prejudices and sharp as a shriek. Fragment of the text by Miguel Barnet