James Phua’s Art Style

1. Highly recognizable art style

To be a representative and prominent figure in the contemporary art field, one must have a distinctive personal art style in his or her works. In this respect, James Phua’s highly recognizable art style has met this requirement. In addition to his unique themes, his art identification also reflects on his pioneering techniques such as the Ultra-freestyle, Calligraphic Motion Blur, Motion Trails Effect and Ink Splattering Technique. Unlike most contemporary Chinese painters, James Phua’s horse painting style is never restricted to the pattern or genealogy of the late Xu Beihong.


2. Bold and forthright characteristics

James Phua’s bold and forthright characteristics have influenced and have indirectly shaped his style of horse painting. His brushstroke is powerful, vigorous and bold. His employment of ink on rice paper is highly spontaneous and various in tones.


3. Painting the horse with succinct and forceful brushstrokes

James Phua paints the horse mostly in a stylish way where his brushstrokes are very succinct and clear cut yet effective. With just a few unhesitant and forceful brushstrokes, he is able not only to bring out the entire muscular and skeletal structure and movement of the horse, but also to reveal the heroic manner of the horse perfectly.


4. Revolutionary projection of ‘fast motions’ in Chinese painting

James Phua is very observant of the fast motions generated by the galloping horse. He depicts and expresses the split second moment of the fast motions in his horse painting very often. In fact, to capture the essence of the fast motions is really a challenge to artists. However, James Phua’s art talent has helped him overcome this difficulty. Under his efforts, he has eventually opened up a new horizon of Chinese ink painting where he has succeeded to project the artistic fascination of the fast motions perfectly in his artworks, especially his series of ‘Horse Racing’. His distinctive projection of the ‘fast motions’ in his horse painting is influential in shaping his unique personal art style.


5. Perfect balance for depicting the horse

The common mistake in depicting the horse is either over rendering or over simplifying the horse image due to unsolid foundation in horse anatomy. Unlike those artists, James Phua is able to make a perfect balance in both outward appearance and inward spirit of the horse.


6. The entire style is full of a sense of contemporariness

James Phua is with his time. In addition to his employment of science and information technology conceptions for his paintings, he also integrates the elements and trends of the contemporary generation such as minimalism, summarized value, speeding and sprinting power, effectiveness and revolutionary spirit into his artworks. Yet, he is also a forward looking artist whose perception is ahead of his time. His avant-garde artworks, ‘A-single-stroke horse painting’ has testified to his pioneering spirit.