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Andy Kay

Andy Kay began training in Chinese painting in 1968. He spent eight years of intermittent study with the late calligraphy and ink painting master, Ho Tit-Wah, who at that time was heading the China Art Atelier in New York City. In 1971 Kay began studies at the Stuttgart Ballet School where he worked under John Cranko and Anne Woolliams, and continued his study of design at the Stuttgart Art Academy. For the next 10 years he designed costumes for the San Francisco Ballet, created sets and costumes for the Frankfurt Ballet, and did design work for several films. Kay later joined his former teacher, Ho Tit-Wah in Hawaii to help establish and run Honolulu's Iron Flower Chan Art Center. In 1980-81 he traveled extensively in China, where he exhibited his work in the National Gallery of China in Beijing, the Museum of Fine Arts in Hangzhou, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Canton. While in Beijing he was asked to lecture and demonstrate his painting techniques. He takes the traditional vehicles of Eastern art - the folded fan, hanging scrolls, kites, costumes - and infuses them with more lighthearted Western colors. His work evokes a happy blend of the East and West. On the one hand there is the controlled elegance of traditional Chinese painting; on the other is an exuberant use of color, reflecting both his Western heritage and his background in classical dance.