Hong Kong has been playing an important role in the history of Chinese ink painting. The foundation of ink painting in Hong Kong has been laid by masters from the traditional school since the twentieth century as such Huang Boye, Li Yanshan, Deng Fen , masters from the Lingnan school such as Chao Shao-an, Yang Shen-sum, Szeto Ki, as well as painters with unique styles such as Ding Yanrong, Fang Shaoling and others. From the sixty to early seventies, painter Lu Shou-kwan began to shift to abstract ink painting. By assimilating philosophical ideas of Buddhism and Taoism, Lu created his unique “Zen painting”. The New Ink Painting Movement was then kicked off. In the early seventies, the Taiwan painter Liu Kuo-sung moved to Hong Kong and started his teaching career at the Department of Fine Arts of the Chinese University of Hong Kong for more than twenty years. He is a revolutionist in ink painting. He has made major breakthroughs in concepts, pictorial themes and techniques, and become a pioneer of modern ink painting. Lu Shou-kwan and Liu Kuo-sung have nurtured a number of outstanding ink painters in Hong Kong. Today, ink painting is well developing in Hong Kong. The art works of the ink painters are getting more personalized with distinctive identities, creating a new trend for the contemporary ink in Hong Kong.
We can get a glimpse of some representative ink works in this exhibition. Ho Pak-lee and Nigel Szeto master paintings in Lingnan style, yet their paintings are imbued with unique features. Ho Pak-lee excels lights and ink colors to create shades and gradations in his landscape work. Guqin Chinese zither garden and landscape images can be found in Szeto’s work. His work is with unique composition and intense color as well as showing the features of both Chinese and Western paintings. With the use of manipulation of bold brush work and bright color setting, Wong Chau-tung captures the bustling and colorful city scenes in his work. Shen Ping combines the skills of sketching and ink painting to depict urban scenes and folk life. His works on human life are inspiring. Wong Hau- kwei painted the beauty and charm of Sai Kung scenery in Hong Kong with contrasting color contrast of ink tones by also manipulating spaces of the void and the solid. Wai King-man is good at depicting horse racing and the cityscapes of Hong Kong with swift and spontaneous brush style. The personal styles and cityscape paintings of these artists reflect the identity of “urban ink”.
Ma Tat-wai has profound cultivation of traditional Chinese ink and calligraphic aesthetic since childhood. He brings us brand new visions of presentation with his eloquent yet meticulous brush technique. The traditional features depicted by Ma such as ancient Chinese antiques, gardens, rocks and tree roots, come with a sense of modernity. Chan Keng-tin creates his art work with meticulous brush technique and refined coloring style and also got inspired by the patterns of crackles on Chinese ceramics. The mountains and animals painted by Chan bring a sense of ethereal mood and heedlessness. Both Ma and Chan’s works attempt to reinterpret the traditional aesthetics with modern sense. Ho Siu-chung paints landscape in an abstract way. His brush is expressive and unrestrained. The flowers and landscapes drawn by senior woman artist Yi-xin are abstract and with freehand brush style, exuding a charm of freshness. She also paints urban city sceneries which reflect her passion for life in a modern society.
Lin Tianxing, Chen Wei and Zhao Zhijun have received art training in art colleges in mainland China and they have solid skills in art. Lin’s work combines the vocabularies of Chinese ink painting and Western oil as well as watercolor painting. His brush is fluent and unrestrained with a strong contrast in color. He is good at painting lotus and landscape with a sense of abstractness and uniqueness. Zhao Zhijun is keen on the themes of rural sceneries, urban landscape and flowers. He makes use of inks and watercolors to create interesting yet precisely composited art work. Chen Wei is deeply influenced by the traditional ink painting style, as well as inspired by the literati school of painting. The composition of his work is carefully planned yet allows flexibility for variation, capturing the essence of his pictorial subjects.
The works featured in this exhibition, although not so many are representative of the styles of these noted artists. The art works show the unique creations and achievements of the painters. It also reflects the multi-exploration and contemporary vocabulary of ink paintings in Hong Kong. In such a way, these art works are well echoed with the theme of the exhibition “Ink Rhyme”.
Adjunct Professor of Academy of Visual Arts,
The Hong Kong Baptist University
Opening Reception : 28 Oct 2016 (Fri) 5 - 8:00 pm
Opening Ceremony : 28 Oct 2016 (Fri) 5:30 pm
Exhibition Date : 28 Oct (Fri) - 25 Nov (Fri) 2016
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-19:00
Sun & Public Holiday: By appointment only
Venue : Art of Nature Contemporary Gallery - Hong Kong
21/F, Mega Trade Centre, 1 Mei Wan Street, Tsuen Wan
Enquiry: 24937236 / 91207578 Horace Lam / 91592757 Tiffany
* Free admission