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Museum of Art showcases modern ink paintings by Hong Kong artists


An exhibition featuring modern Chinese ink paintings by 21 Hong Kong artists opens at the Hong Kong Museum of Art tomorrow (April 4).

The exhibition, Hong Kong Cityscapes - Ink Painting in Transition, includes works by Lu Shoukun, Wang Wuxie, Zhou Luyun, Fang Zhaoling, Chen Fushan, Jin Daiqiang, Tian Chi and Shi Jiahao. It aims to showcase the multi-faceted cultural life of Hong Kong as well as reveal the vision of the city's cosmopolitan inhabitants.

The exhibition opened last year at the Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. This show was a highlight of the Hong Kong Festival in London, which celebrated the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London, the exhibition allowed foreign audiences to appreciate the work of Hong Kong's modern ink painters.

The exhibition, with content enriched, will be re-run in Hong Kong for six months until October 19. On display are 30 representative works which encapsulate the development of ink painting in Hong Kong in the last few decades. Grouped under two themes - Mountains and Water: The Immutable Landscape and Skyscrapers and City Dwellers: The Human Landscape - the exhibition will give viewers a glimpse of how Hong Kong artists have renewed the tradition of ink painting.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the introduction of modernist ideas from the West opened up new directions for Hong Kong artists. A new ink painting, which incorporates Western art concepts and traditional techniques, emerged and made a significant impact on the development of ink painting both in Mainland China and Taiwan. The ink paintings on display under the theme, Mountain and Water, are representative works of this kind. The works with the theme "Skyscrapers and City Dwellers" show the profound impact of urban living on the artists. These modern renderings of a traditional craft bring it up to date with contemporary living.

The Chief Curator of the Museum of Art, Dr Christina Chu Kam-leun, said the exhibition showed Hong Kong artists' experimentation with new technical devices and presentation methods.

"Some artists transform the distinctive characteristics of ink and brush as alternatives to the traditional treatment of space, perspective and forms in Chinese painting," Dr Chu said. "Their relationship to traditional ink painting is at best oblique. Subtle references to the prototypes can be drawn from evidence such as multi-panelled vertical-scroll presentation formats, vestiges of imprinted ink, silk or Chinese paper. The ambiguity of the cultural identity of these works arouses titillating speculation as to the future of Chinese art," says Dr Chu.

The Museum of Art is at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is open from 10am to 6pm daily, but closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission is $10 and half-price concessions are applicable to full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

For enquiries, call 2721 0116 or visit the Museum of Art's website at

End/Thursday, April 3, 2003

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