Cuban painter Flora Fong, a 71-year-old Chinese descendant who aspires to depict her COVID-19 days with paintbrushes, gets ready to participate in the Havana Biennial Art Exhibition scheduled for November.

At her home located in the capital Havana’s Miramar district, she has accomplished works of art that will be part of an exhibition themed “The Silk Road,” which aims to explore the essence of the Chinese culture and people.

The paintings will also be on display at a gallery the artist plans to open at the China Town in Havana by the second half of this year if all goes as planned.

“Aside from works of art, the exhibition will include a silk clothing parade,” Fong said. “Every day, I find something new in the elements of the Chinese language and way of thinking.”

Born in the central province of Camaguey, Fong was granted a scholarship to study at the National School of Arts in Havana in the late 1960s. She has garnered several awards and recognitions during her professional career, including the Prize of International Visual Arts Association.

Over the past few decades, Fong’s works of art have been exhibited in various cities around the world, including New York, Beijing and Shanghai.

In her paintings, she blends the spirit of the Caribbean environment with her Chinese roots inherited from her father, who is originally from south China’s Guangdong province.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic spread to the island in March 2020, the artist has been portraying the faces of Cuban women wearing colourful face masks, as an encouragement for people to respect mask-wearing rules as well as in memory of the battle against the virus.

Fong, who has visited China several times, told Xinhua that she wants to deliver a message through her works about the disruption caused by the health emergency to ordinary people, and the importance of self-protection.

“I will continue painting all that I am feeling at the moment. The face masks are a testimony of current times, and part of a new artistic aesthetic,” she said.