Hu Te-Hsin

(b. 1926, Hebei)
Hu Te-Hsin was born in 1926 in Northern China to a family where artistic pursuits were part of daily life. Taught by his mother, Hu started doing art at the age of six and won first prize in a local art competition before the age of ten. Encouraged, Hu continued studying charcoal and water color painting in high school. He had his first solo exhibition in Beijing in 1948, and after graduating in Chinese literature at the National Peking University, he moved to Taiwan in 1949.

While working for periodicals and learning techniques of graphics, screen paintings and engraving, Hu discovered batik and began experimenting with that medium which continued throughout his entire career. Hu moved to Malaysia in 1961 where his career fully developed as a result of the close contact with the Southeast Asian batik industry. He is considered one of the pioneers who helped establish batik painting as an art form in the 1960s. He is also recognized as an innovator in the field, fusing techniques of other art forms with those of batik painting especially combining elements of traditional Chinese art with the batik approach.

Hu has taught at the University of Malaysia since 1969, and has exhibited in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Japan, California, and Taipei. He retired to Southern California where he continued exploring other art forms such as paper cutting, brick carving, stone engraving, Western painting, Chinese calligraphy and silk screen printing to mention a few.


49.5 X 63 IN

On display at:


Since moving to Malaysia in 1961, Hu Te-Hsin experimented with the technique of batik and embraced it wholly in his paintings. Batik is a distinct art form that emerged in Southeast Asia and beyond. The word batik originates from the Javanese tik, which means to dot.

To make a batik, the artist draws a painting on a cloth. Then he blocks out areas of the painting by brushing or drawing hot wax over them. The cloth is then dyed and the parts covered in wax resist the dye keeping the original color. This process of waxing and dyeing can be repeated to create elaborate and colorful designs. After the final dyeing, the wax is removed to show the final painting and colors.

In Everlasting Green Mountains, Hu reveals his mastery of the batik technique on a scenery in the traditional Chinese monumental landscape style that mimics the vibrancy of colors and gradations seen in the blue-and-green style of Chinese landscape painting.