Passage to India in Colour
Wong Sau Ching
- Fri 17-01-2020 to Fri 07-02-2020
Anita Chan Lai-ling Gallery
Wong Sau Ching was born in China from a family originally from Malaysia. His interest in art came naturally to him. He learned ink painting by himself. He left China to settle in Hong Kong in 1977.
"I was told that because of my tainted political background as a family member of repatriates, I would be barred from entering the National Art Academy no matter how good I was," he explained. "I knew by then I had to look for other places to pursue my dream and vocation as painter."
He decided to go London to study art. First he had to spend one year learning the language. Then he enrolled at Wimbledon Art School and got accepted. There he honed his skill in sketching and learn to paint in oil. In his graduation show he was spotted by two West End Galleries and soon afterwards made his first sale of artwork and a reputation as a promising emergent artist who had mastered the techniques of ink and oil painting.
At that juncture of his life, he was in a quandary: should he stay in London to develop his artistic career, or to rejoin his family in Hong Kong? Eventually he chose to return to Hong Kong and used the proceeds from the sale to set himself up in a studio and turned fulltime painter. It was very uncommon at the time as most artists had to find a day job to support themselves. He persisted and has eventually succeeded years later. "I know to do this it was as hard then as it is today."
The palette of this series of work is rich and intense. It attempts to express the exuberance and drama of the Hindu aesthetics. Sau Ching's brushwork, grounded in ink painting, manifests a kinetic texture that resembles haze emanating from a hot sun-drenched land. He made reams and reams of sketching in open air along the way in this journey to capture the defining moments. Some of those sketching notes we put on display alongside the paintings in this exhibition.
"I was most astounded by the contrasts of extreme splendour and squalor, wealth and poverty, life and death. These seemed to be all taken in the same stride with equanimity. One night in Varanasi by the bank of River Ganges, I saw a somber and mournful cremation on pyre on one side, and a joyous and boisterous celebration of sorts on the other side. This scene that symbolizes the Hindu antithetical concept of human existence has left a deep impression on me in my passage to India."
Benny Chia (Founder and Director of the Fringe Club), 26 Dec 2019
Wong Sau Ching
Born in 1954, grew up in a village in Fujian, China. He graduated from Wimbledon School of Art, London in 1992. Two years later, he became a tutor of the Hong Kong Visual Art Centre. In 2001, he was appointed as the chairman of board of Artist Commune and the chairman of Res Artist in China.
He has participated in numerous exhibitions both in China and overseas, including Spotlight Hong Kong in Penang 2014 - Sketching the City organised by the Fringe Club, L’ Art Dans le Monde 2000 organised by Les Musées de la Ville de Paris, Legacy and Creations – Ink Art vs Ink Art in World Expo 2010 Shanghai China and etc.
Interview with Wong Sau Ching - Part 1:
Monday – Saturday 11am-7pm
Sunday & Public Holidays closed