In 2018, Chan Sai-lok launched his cultural identity series with red as the main motif, then had two solo exhibitions, “Land of Longing and Exile” (2019) and “Everyday Practice” (2020), and undertook residencies in New York and Denmark. Now, as a kind of postscript to his red series, he has invited three of his friends to join him in interpreting contemporary ink aesthetics.
The curatorial framework appropriates the traditional genres of poetry, calligraphy, painting, seal carving and objects. Chan sees text and literature as materials for creation. Not restricted to readable text, poetry can be purely a sequence of text, alternating rhythms or abstract formations. Fabric and silk are colours with which painting weaves narrative layers like a novel. Chui Pui-chee has had a long calligraphy practice. Man and brush move as one entity, creating the essence of his ink practice. The complementary chemical reaction of ink and paper takes calligraphy art to another level. Pau Mo-ching focuses on the original use of seal carvings as proof of identity and intent, where loyalty and justice manifest themselves within the square inch, symbolising the way friends and family members understand each other’s thoughts and feelings without a word being spoken. While those three play with the scholarly arts, Lau Hok-shing occupies himself with antique objects. The miniature mountain constructed in layers on the scholar’s desk evokes the mountain within us, while mirroring the scenery on the Cantonese opera stage.
The idea of “exhibition” originated in 17th-century Europe, and the focus on cultural heritage determined the design of the exhibition space. But regardless of aesthetic style, history and material characteristics, calligraphy, paintings, text, seal carvings and objects all have their own cultural contexts. Our appreciation of them should therefore constitute a separate discipline. Living in a culturally hybrid and technologically advanced modern city, how do artists open up an aesthetic world that is both traditional and new? How do they arrange the exhibition space to have a dialogue with the audience?
Born in Hong Kong in 1980, Dr Chui gained his first degree from the Department of Fine Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and his Master of Arts and Doctoral degrees from the Department of Chinese Calligraphy at the China Academy of Art.
Dr Chui served as a programme co-ordinator at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, CUHK, and a part-time lecturer at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He was an Honorary Advisor of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, CUHK, worked in the Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy Department of China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd., and is currently a part-time lecturer at CUHK and Hong Kong Baptist University, an executive member of The Jiazi Society of Calligraphy and Friends of Shizhai, and a research fellow of the Modern Calligraphy Research Center of China Academy of Art.
In 2012, Dr Chui received the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Awards - Young Artist Award, presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. He also received the Award for Young Artist (Visual Arts) at the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards 2015, and was a finalist in The Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2015, 2018 and 2020. Some of his artworks are in the collections of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford, and private collectors. Recent selected exhibitions include “Classics Remix: The Hong Kong Viewpoint”, “Dawn Chorus, Happen with HART” and “The 2020 Sovereign Asian Art Prize: Shortlisted Finalists Exhibition”.
Hanison Lau Hok-shing
Hanison Lau uses sculptural form to present his ideas – his three-dimensional pieces speak some of his personal stories, presenting different visual elements with ready-made materials. He usually employs history and literature, especially adapted from Chinese culture as referential languages and properties. He uses sculpture and drawing to represent the poetic elements vested in contemporary visual art form, and his works demonstrate a strong record of personal action.
Lau has worked as an independent artist and as a lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University. He received his BA (Fine Arts) from RMIT in 2005 and his MA (Fine Arts) from RMIT in 2007. The Hong Kong Art Promotion Office selected him as one of the highlighted artists for its “Artists in Neighbourhood scheme II 2008”. He took part in artist-in-residence projects in Portland, USA, in 2008 and in South Korea in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014. In 2016 he was awarded the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards 2016 - Award for Young Artist (Visual Arts).
In the past few years he has exhibited his works extensively in the USA, Australia, Paris, South Korea, mainland China and Hong Kong. His works have been collected locally and internationally.
Pau was studying Chinese painting at the China National Academy of Arts Hangzhou while she was an amateur painter. She then completed the BA and MFA courses at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her art creation focuses on Chinese painting and seal carving. Pau’s seal works have been shown in various regional and provincial competitions and exhibitions, including the Xiling Seal Society in 2006, 2009 and 2012, and the 15th Hong Kong Art Biennial Exhibition.
She now teaches Chinese painting and seal carving in academies, and runs workshops for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and for the community.
An artist, art critic and writer based in Hong Kong, Chan holds a BA and MFA in Fine Art and an MA in Gender Studies, all from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has always taken text and literature as points of departure in his artistic endeavours, through which he contemplates the intimate relationship between painting and literariness.
His recent solo exhibitions include “Everyday Practice” (Hong Kong 2019 and New York 2020), “Land of Longing and Exile” (2019) and “Alongside Poetry in an Alley” (2016-17). He has been a winner of the UOB Art in Ink Award and a finalist in the Sovereign Asian Art Prize, the Awards for Creative Writing in Chinese, and the Professor Mayching Kao Art History Award.
Chan was one of the editors of the “Qiuying” poetry magazine and an executive committee member of The House of Hong Kong Literature. He is now a part-time lecturer at universities; a co-founder of the Art Appraisal Club , an art-critic collective; a project leader of an art review project, “Free Walk In”, and a guest host of a radio program about art.
Presented by: United Overseas Bank (UOB)
Curator: CHAN Sai-lok
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