A staunch advocate of traditional art skills, Yu Xiaofu specializes in oil paintings on canvas. His early paintings were heavily influenced by Russian realism artists such as Repin and Serov. Later he became interested in the group of Les Nabis and Cubism, as well as the Romanian artist, Corneliu Baba. He’s best known for works that include “The Root”, which was awarded silver medal at The 2nd National Comic Strip Exhibition in 1983 and “I Knocked the Door Gently” which won the prize of excellence at the Shanghai Culture Arts and has been collected by an overseas art lovers.
When he was only two or three years old he would cover the house and the yard with chalk drawings, and when he was older his parents sent him to a private art studio on Gao-An Road to learn how to draw.Graduated from Department of Fine Arts, Shanghai Theatre Academy in 1978, Yu Xiaofu was admitted into Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture Studio and became a professional artist and ten years later, he went to England to continue his further education.
Yu Xiaofu favors fusing dark brown into deep red backgrounds then adding orange and yellows to the bright areas. This color arrangement gives people a powerful visual impact that strikes with almost metallic force. Unlike other painters of characters, Yu Xiaofu can dispense with models and reference pictures, instead painting on the canvas whatever he envisions, just as Chinese art theory suggests for the truly gifted.
Yu Xiaofu’s paintings are always profoundly involved with historical connotations. He enjoys painting grand narrative scenes consisting of famous historical figures and himself, meanwhile placing great emphasis on brush skills and composition. In his recent painting, My Spiritual Homeland, he arranged himself standing beside Carl Marx, Anselm Kiefer and Joseph Beuys in a junkyard setting, signifying his strong faith in traditional humanity spirit in the modern disoriented society.