Choie Sew Hoy

Choie Sew Hoy

Oils on canvas

This commission is of one of New Zealand’s Chinese founding fathers, Choie Sew Hoy. The coloured portrait is based on a black and white studio photo taken of him in the professional studio of The Burton Brothers, in Dunedin, New Zealand. It was taken in 1895, and hence why no colour photos were available. The photo is part of a collection held in the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

I felt it important to include as much detail in his silk robe’s gold coloured ‘mandarin square’ as possible, as this is how the Chinese Mandarin men showed their status and rank at that time. The golden pheasant pictured communicates that he has a second rank status and was a very important person.

35cm x 46cm
Original – SOLD
Canvas prints available 30cm x 40cm – NZ$350.00

“Fran was commissioned to paint a colour portrait replica of an ancestor from a black & white postcard. Her attention to detail included obtaining a high- resolution copy of the photo from the Alexander Turnbull Library, study of the clothing colour and anthropological research on the clothing details.

We are very pleased with the results. The colour is vibrant and facial characteristics capture the essence of him. This painting will be cherished by our family for generations.” – Rodney and Kathryn Wu (Nov 2019)

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