Born in Shanxi in 1976, Fu Xiaotong is a graduate of the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, after which she completed her postgraduate studies at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA). In her series of works on hand-made paper, she employs an extraordinarily labor-intensive technique, excavating the paper with a needle many thousands of times. For Chambers Fine Art on its 20th anniversary, Fu has created small-scale abstractions that showcase the versatility of her chosen medium, traditional handmade Xuan paper.
Fu used Xuan paper to create visual equivalents of the lofty mountains and rushing streams that had characterized the long history of traditional Chinese landscape painting (Shan Shui). As she gained the confidence she evolved a “language of the needle” consisting of five different ways of approaching the surface of the paper. Early on in the development of this technique, she only perforated the surface of the paper from directly above, but eventually, she also approached it from the reverse and at an angle from the left and from the right. By now she has such control over the use of the needle that she is able to visualize how different combinations of directional strokes result in convincing representations of rocks and water.