Seong Moy



Seong Moy (Chinese: 梅祥) (April 12, 1921 – June 9, 2013)[1] was an American painter and printmaker. Moy was born in a small town outside of Canton, China; he emigrated to the United States at the age of 10 in 1931, and moved to St. Paul, Minnesota. During this time, Moy attended school during the day, and trained in his uncle’s restaurant as an assistant chef when not in school. In 1934, Moy was introduced to art classes at the Federal Art Project School through a friend. For the next few years, Moy studied art first at the Federal Art Project, and later at the St. Paul School of Art and the WPA Graphic Workshop at the Walker Art Center. In 1941 he moved to New York City to study at the Art Students League and the Hoffman School of Art. This lasted until the fall of 1942, when he enlisted with the U.S. Army Air Force, serving in the China-India-Burma Theater as an aerial reconnaissance photographer. In 1955 Moy won a Guggenheim Fellowship. His woodcuts from this time are notable in their use of subject matter from Chinese classics, combined with the formal techniques of Abstract Expressionism. For example, his woodcut Inscription of T’Chao Pae #II (1952) explores the potential of archaic Chinese calligraphy, illustrating the artist’s aim, in his own words, to “recreate in the abstract idiom of contemporary time some of the ideas of ancient Chinese art forms.”[2] His work can be found in the permanent collections of a number of museums in the United States, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian.