His love of the American landscape, the fog-shrouded
coast and all things romantic is informed and illuminated by
his youth and education in China. Born in Shanghai the son of
an art professor at the Art Academy of China, and educated at
the Peoples Liberation Army Art Institute in Beijing,
Mo was one of the few artists ever honored with shows at both
the National Theater and the National Gallery in Beijing. He
only came to the U.S. in 1987 and fell in love with the beauty
of the land.
Mo was one of a number of Chinese arts who attracted the
attention of Dave Usher, the late founder of The Greenwich
Workshop, who was a pioneer in gaining exposure for their
work in the United States.
"The things I see in this country are very well suited
to the kind of painting I like to do," he says. "The
realistic landscape in a dreamlike context." His boats
and lighthouses and even trains appear out of a mist, like
a vision taking shape. It gives his work a lyrical, haunting
quality that was celebrated in exhibitions both here and in
Asia. Refusing to rest on his laurels, however, he also attended
the Pratt Institutes School of Art and Design in New
York, graduating in 1993 with a Master of Fine Arts.
In both countries, fellow artists never fail to be impressed
with his remarkable ability to balance his images subject
with the very air and light around it. To his pleasure, he
finds many of the same moods in America that he grew up with
in China. "I guess it just goes to show," he says,
"that our similarities are greater than our differences."