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Hong Fu Portrait of Peter Wegner

oil on canvas

152.7 x 152.7 cm

Peter Wegner won last year’s Archibald Prize with a portrait of 100-year-old artist Guy Warren. Hong Fu was also a finalist in the 2021 Archibald and was represented in the exhibition Archie 100: A Century of the Archibald Prize – presented at the Art Gallery at the same time – with a portrait from 2008; however, neither was able to attend the opening event due to the pandemic.

Wegner and Fu have known each other for 20 years. ‘We both live in Nillumbik Shire in Victoria and Peter’s wife works in an art supply shop near my home. They sometimes come to my studio and exhibitions, so he trusts me and was happy to be my sitter,’ says Fu.

‘I admire Peter’s painting style. He is the kind of artist who can express the soul of his subjects. He paints not only with his hands but also his mind. I tried to capture that balance by showing his sharp eyes and one of his hands. I used an analogous colour scheme to link his white hair, white moustache and shirt. That allowed me to emphasise the colour and dignity of his face. In fact, I wanted the tone of the whole portrait to be dignified.’

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