“When we become adults we have to find our ‘real’ selves. My work records the process of finding myself.”
Born Beijing, 1973
Bu Hua could draw like a professional by the time she was ten and had her first solo exhibition at 16. But it wasn’t until her late teens, when she discovered Flash animation, that she found her true artistic calling. “I wanted something dynamic and mobile to express my ideas,” she says. She finds Flash such a satisfying medium of expression that she often spends whole days at the computer. Mini-movies like Cat (2002) and Savage Growth (2008) won her an enthusiastic following on sites like FlashEmpire.com. Later, she began making vivid inkjet prints of her Flash drawings. Many of her works feature her “inner child”, a feisty girl in the white blouse and red scarf of a Young Pioneer (the Chinese Communist version of Scouts and Guides), who finds all kinds of torment in the adult world—from the monster-ridden darkness of prints like Vowing Not to Attain Buddhahood Until All Are Salvaged From Hell (2008) to the existential discomforts of Anxiety (2009) and the mad chaos of modern cities in Savage Growth—and skips through it all unscathed. Whether that is because of her innocence or her self-absorption is for the viewer to decide.