Sometimes called “landscapes of the mind,” Sandria Hu’s abstract pantings evoke the physicality and lyricism of the earth —the soil, the texture, the climate, and the emotional connection— of the many varied places she has lived. Using everyday, found objects and her oil-based colors, Hu’s autobiographical paintings piece together fragmented memories and directly reference her experiences living abroad.
Repeatedly, working abroad has been an exciting experience for me. Part of the richness of that experience, of course, has been the chance to exchange ideas and aesthetic conceptions with artists from other countries, but being in another country contributes to my art in another more immediate way as well. Although my art is abstract, it is rooted in the colors and textures of the earth and the culture I am in. Previous Fulbright grants to the Czech Republic, Serbia and Mexico have given me a chance to experience their cultural and environmental landscapes over different periods of time. I was then able to create new works in those countries, works that when I returned to Texas, I was able to re-assemble those ideas and colors.
Most immediately, then, my art grows out of the soil and the changes in texture and movement of the land in different climates and seasons. In the last three years I have focused on West Texas and Big Bend National Park. Abstract as my paintings are, as Christian Gerstheimer, curator of the El Paso Museum of Art, points out, “Sandria Hu’s abstract paintings should also be considered in terms of assemblage because the constructed base of each work is a combination of everyday, “found” material that are painted i.e. her background becomes “supports” her latest work.”