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Exhibitions in a Virtual World | Uniquely Hong Kong — A Celebration of Hong Kong Art
August 10, 2020

Exhibitions in a Virtual World | Immersive and engaging online viewing experiences of ART Power HK Partner exhibitions opening in Hong Kong.

Support by Alisan Fine Arts

Alisan Fine Arts presents Uniquely Hong Kong -- A Celebration of Hong Kong Art. The exhibition highlights the diversity and talent of Hong Kong artists and seeks to inspire the discussion of what defines a Hong Kong artist. Showcasing works hailing from artists across several generations, the exhibition acknowledges the indisputable fact that living in this cosmopolitan city has meant that they are established with a rich heritage that is ingrained in Chinese tradition and Western influence. The extent to which these combined forces are expressed are found in artists’ resulting artworks, each a testimony to what makes them uniquely Hong Kong.

The leftmost room of the gallery is dedicated to the Innovators of Hong Kong art. In the 1940s-50s, Hong Kong experienced a great influx of immigrants. Artists arriving from China, though predominantly trained in the art of traditional Chinese painting, were quickly exposed to Western influences and in turn, reconfigured classical Chinese painting into a contemporary form of ink art. This room features works by the pioneer of the New Ink Movement Lui Shou-kwan, as well as Irene Chou and Fang Zhaoling.

The middle room spotlights a group of avant-garde artists who emerged in the 1960s as Hong Kong began to prosper and became a gateway between the East and West. With the support of the Asian Cultural Council Fund, artists such as Hon Chi-fun and Wucius Wong had the opportunity to travel overseas to study Western art first-hand. Greatly influenced by what they saw and learnt in the West such as Abstract Expressionism, they both started to combine these elements into their work. Other artists such as Chui Tze-hung, Nancy Woo, and Pat Hui were also exposed to the artistic movements of the West; they too integrated the use of colour and abstraction into their practice.

The rightmost room is divided into three subsections: Nature & Environment, Hong Kong Scenes, and Reinventing Tradition.

 

Nature & Environment
During the 1980s and 90s, faced with the uncertainty of the handover to China, an increasing number of Hong Kong artists immigrated to the West, including Wucius Wong, Hon Chi-fun, and Fung Ming-chip. At the same time, an influx of migrants from Mainland China, alongside those who remained in Hong Kong, formed the pillars of an emerging art scene. These artists include Kan Tai-keung and Hung Hoi and Kassia Ko - who transformed ink painting into a modern language, focusing mostly on landscape -- as well as Eddie Lui and Winnie Mak, who gravitated towards depicting nature or landscape in the traditional medium of ink but with a colourful flair. Concurrently, Hong Kong started to face issues of its overcrowding population and global warming. Sculptors Kum Chi-keung, Danny Lee, Mok Yat-sun, and Fiona Wong responded to these issues, remaining strongly in Chinese thought but striving to modernize Chinese art through their unique sculptural language.

Hong Kong Scenes
As the city underwent rapid urbanization in the 1980s and 90s, local artists depicted Hong Kong’s unique fusion of man-made and natural scenes. The exhibited works of T.C Lai and Kong Kai-ming present familiar scenes that depict their surrounding views while the sculptures of Man Fung-yi and Rosanna Li pay homage to the artists’ cultural heritage and reflect their observations of society. Pieces by Chu Hing-wah further showcase Hong Kong’s diverse cityscapes, presenting a more humanistic side of local life.

Reinventing Tradition
At the turn of the 21st century, Hong Kong progressed into an international art hub. It was under the advancing circumstances that artists who were growing up under the SAR government were no longer bound to the constraints of colonial rule. The art scene’s significant burgeoning ushered in a new generation of artists who had the opportunity to draw inspiration from a globalized city while also looking inward towards the East. Artists Cherie Cheuk and Zhang Xiaoli both skillfully rejuvenate Chinese tradition into a contemporary art form. Similarly, Ho Kwun-ting, Ling Pui-sze, and Hui Hoi-kiu demonstrate their versatility through an array of expressive media such as painting, sculpture, and multimedia.


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