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Heritage Museum shows contemporary calligraphy by Tong Yang-tze

     About 17 calligraphic works by the contemporary calligrapher, Tong Yang-tze, will be exhibited in "Brush Beyond Space: Works of Tong Yang-tze" at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum from tomorrow (September 18) to January 3, 2011. The works show the fusion of Tong's traditional, modern, Chinese and Western artistic styles and her endeavours to explore new spheres of calligraphy.

     The exhibition was opened today (September 17) by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-Sing; Ms Tong Yang-Tze; renowned architect from Taiwan, Mr Ray Chen; renowned local designer, Mr Freeman Lau; and the Commissioner, Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City, Ms Hsieh Hsiao-yun.

     Mr Tsang said, "The recently-established Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council (ECCPC) and its counterpart in Taiwan, the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council (ECCC), held the first joint meeting in Taipei on August 30. A meeting was also held between the cultural co-operation committees under the ECCPC and the ECCC. As the platform for exchange between Hong Kong and Taiwan was institutionalised, I hope cultural exchange between the two places would be enhanced."

     This exhibition is a cross-over collaboration among artists from different media. It is also a cultural and artistic exchange between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

     Tong Yang-tze, a prominent contemporary calligrapher from Taiwan, has on the one hand inherited the traditions of Chinese calligraphy in her works and carries forward the essence of this classical Chinese art; on the other hand, she is eager to explore new possibilities of Chinese calligraphy and to interact with artists of different disciplines to apply this art form in a variety of media.

     Born in Shanghai in 1942, Tong Yang-tze was initiated into the art of calligraphy at the age of eight by her father who inspired her with a calligraphic work by Yan Zhenqing of the Tang dynasty. During her secondary school years, she studied Chinese painting and calligraphy under the tutelage of Zhang Gunian, producing outstanding works that garnered the gold award and special prizes at the Sino-Japanese Goodwill Calligraphy Exhibition. Pursuing undergraduate studies in fine art in Taipei, she received extensive training in an array of media and in calligraphy under Ding Nianxian and Tai Jingnon which gave her an opportunity to study the style of the Clerical Script of the Han dynasty and the styles of the Four Calligraphy Masters of the Song dynasty. Upon graduation, she enrolled in a post-graduate fine art programme at the University of Massachusetts in the United States, majoring in oil painting and minoring in ceramics. Inspired by her love for Chinese calligraphy, Tong has attempted to fuse techniques of Western painting with traditional Chinese calligraphy.

     Tong continued practising calligraphy upon returning to Taiwan in the 1970s. The year 1973 saw her first solo exhibition at the Leland Gallery of Art in Taipei. Since then, more than 50 exhibitions of Tong's works have been held all over the world, including Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan; New York, Washington DC and San Francisco in the US; as well as Canada, England, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong, among others. Striving to challenge confines of space, she creates large-scale works and has collaborated with artists from various disciplines to explore the many possibilities of Chinese calligraphy.  "X beyond 0: Calligraphy-Sign-Space" opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei in 2009, featuring a joint curatorial team from Taiwan and Hong Kong. It was a collaborative effort that demonstrated the ways in which the spirit and symbolism of calligraphy can be attuned to contemporary graphic and architectural designs. Many of Tong's works are collected by major museums in Taiwan.  

     Ray Chen, a renowned architect from Taiwan, and Freeman Lau, a leading designer from Hong Kong, have been specially invited to undertake the space and graphic design respectively for this exhibition. Chen has taken part in many architectural projects in Taiwan. Representative works include the Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi, Eslite Bookstore in Kaohsiung, the FET Store and the Hall of Three Rarities (San Hsi Tang) in the Palace Museum, Taipei. For this exhibition, Chen has adopted minimalism in venue design to highlight Tong's calligraphic art pieces. By integrating the special features of Tong's works into his graphic design, Lau has managed to extend the power of Tong's unique brush.

     Located at 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin, the Heritage Museum opens from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). Admission is $10, with a half-price concession for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and full-time students. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

     Paid car parking is available at the Heritage Museum. Those who prefer to use public transport may take the MTR Ma On Shan Line and get off at the Che Kung Temple Station, which is within three minutes' walk of the museum.

     For enquiries, call 2180 8188. For details of the exhibition, visit the Heritage Museum's website at .

Ends/Friday, September 17, 2010


Officiating guests at the opening ceremony of Hong Kong Heritage Museum's exhibition, "Brush Beyond Space: Works of Tong Yang-tze", were (from left) local designer Mr Freeman Lau, Ms Tong Yang-tze, Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Tsang Tak-sing, architect from Taiwan Mr Ray Chen, and the Commissioner, Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City, Ms Hsieh Hsiao-yun.


Picture shows the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, and the artist ,Ms Tong Yang-tze, touring the exhibition.


Picture shows the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, and the artist, Ms Tong Yang-tze, touring the exhibition.


The calligraphy work "Zhong Ahan Jing (Madhyama Agama)" by Tong Yang-tze. The characters mean "Find a suitable life".


The calligraphy work "Dao De jing" by Tong Yang-tze. The characters mean "Perfect form is without shape."


The calligraphy work "Guanzi" by Tong Yang-tze. The characters mean "The dragon that finds its element comes fully alive".


The calligraphy work entitled "Yu Fu Ci of Qu Yuan" by Tong Yang-tze. The characters mean "Wash your hat when the water is clear. Wash your feet when the water is turbid".





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