Mo Dafeng His love of the American landscape, the fog-shrouded coast and all things
romantic is informed and illuminated by his youth and education in China. Born
in Shanghai the son of an art professor at the Art Academy of China, and
educated at the People’s Liberation Army Art Institute in Beijing, Mo was one
of the few artists ever honored with shows at both the National Theater and the
National Gallery in Beijing. He only came to the U.S. in 1987 and fell in love
with the beauty of the land.
Mo was one of a number of Chinese arts who attracted the attention of Dave
Usher, the late founder of The Greenwich Workshop, who was a pioneer in gaining
exposure for their work in the United States.
"The things I see in this country are very well suited to the kind of painting
I like to do," he says. "The realistic landscape in a dreamlike context." His
boats and lighthouses and even trains appear out of a mist, like a vision
taking shape. It gives his work a lyrical, haunting quality that was celebrated
in exhibitions both here and in Asia. Refusing to rest on his laurels, however,
he also attended the Pratt Institute’s School of Art and Design in New York,
graduating in 1993 with a Master of Fine Arts.
In both countries, fellow artists never fail to be impressed with his
remarkable ability to balance his image’s subject with the very air and light
around it. To his pleasure, he finds many of the same moods in America that he
grew up with in China. "I guess it just goes to show," he says, "that our
similarities are greater than our differences."