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Hong Fu Professor Mabel Lee

pastel and oil on canvas

167.5 x 183 cm

Mabel Lee is a third-generation Chinese–Australian academic and translator born in Warialda, NSW in 1939. She taught Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney and won international recognition for her translation of Gao Xingjian’s Nobel Prize–winning novel Soul mountain.

‘She is venerated for her support of many Chinese–Australian contemporary artists and authors,’ says Hong Fu.

‘I met Mabel 20 years ago in a hot-pot restaurant with friends. Right away, I discovered she was a sharp, passionate woman who loves nothing more than good food and wine (only red, though!). We have been close friends ever since and she flies to Melbourne whenever I have an exhibition to offer support. Her encouragement and provocative questions often push me to see things in a new light. By presenting her image to the world, I hope to share her contributions to art and society; contributions that I and many others hold close to heart.’

Born in Beijing in 1946, Fu arrived in Australia in 1990. His 2008 portrait of art benefactor Dr Joseph Brown is in the Archie 100 exhibition.

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