Born in Hong Kong, Yu received his BFA in Visual Arts from York University, Toronto, an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London, and a PhD degree in the theory and practice of painting at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. Yu taught at different art institutions including Hong Kong Art School and Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He is now an Associate Professor at the Academy of Visual Arts of the Hong Kong Baptist University.
Yu works with painting as both a medium and a practice, acknowledging its inherent qualities and attempting to expand its boundaries. He takes an interdisciplinary approach, developing his paintings through the synthesis of different art forms, and working with texts, images, objects and spaces in a continual interrogation of the painting process. Yu has undertaken a series of research projects which examine his conception of ‘total painting’, and the outputs have been featured in a large number of solo exhibitions as well as group exhibitions over the last fifteen years.
Francis Yu is keen on exploring how art practice constitutes research. His art projects conducted as practice based research and practice led research have received funding support from different internal and external grants.
I think of my teaching as painting a door and drawing a bridge, with the purpose of guiding students to go over to the other side. I see students as thoughtful creators and independent thinkers, being able to find their keys to open the door and walk at their own pace to cross the bridge.