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Exhibition at Museum of Art pays homage to Lin Jen-tong

An exhibition featuring about 50 representative works of the late Lin Jen-tong will be held at the Hong Kong Museum of Art from tomorrow (September 3) until December 26 to pay tribute to the prominent Hong Kong artist.

The exhibition, "A Walk on the Path of Art -- Donation of Ink Painting and Calligraphy by Mr Lin Jen-tong", which presents Lin's representative works selected from the generous donation of Lin's family, aims to increase visitors' understanding of the accomplishments and contributions of the master. The works on display include landscapes, flowers and birds, human figures as well as calligraphic works. Several original manuscripts and other relevant materials of Lin's publications are also featured.

The Chief Curator of the Museum of Art, Dr Christina Chu Kam-leun, expressed her gratitude to Lin's family for their generous donation of more than 70 works by the master and related research materials to the museum.

In the past years, the Museum of Art has received significant donations for its permanent collection, which have contributed to the preservation of Hong Kong's heritage. The museum has also organised a number of exhibitions featuring representative works by noted senior painters and calligraphers to give the public a glimpse of the life-long devotion of these masters to traditional Chinese art.

Lin Jen-tong (1911 - 1994) was a native of Xinhui, Guangdong Province. He was also known by the alias "Meihuashuwu Zhuren". After graduating from the Canton Municipal Arts Institute, Lin followed Huang Junbi (1898 - 1991) to study art education in Japan. While in Japan, he also obtained a degree in Sociology. He later served in the Army for 10 years and then moved to Hong Kong to start a new chapter in his life as an artist and teacher. In Hong Kong, he founded his own studio, "Dadao Huayuan (The Great Way Studio)". Later on he studied painting under the renowned master, Zhang Daqian (1899-1983).

Lin was forthright, outspoken and committed to the furtherance of artistic and personal cultivation. His pursuit of freedom is reflected in the flamboyant brushstrokes that characterise his pictorial compositions. In search of a personal style, he emulated the spirituality that is the focus of the grand heritage of the "Northern" and "Southern" schools of traditional Chinese landscape painting.

Lin liked to sketch mountains and scenery on the Mainland, Hong Kong and countries he had visited in Europe and Asia. He also experimented with new techniques and styles. Among the subjects that he painted, he had a special fondness for plum blossoms to the extent that he called himself "Mei Chi" (The Plum Blossom Fanatic). His enthusiasm for the subject prompted him to publish his theories in the art of painting plum blossoms. Lin's acute observation of the natural disposition of this floral motif in his pictorial compositions demonstrates his sensitivity and appreciation for the loftiness and transcendence of this floral symbol. Lin was also skilled at using the "Mao Lung" (a coarse rush fibre) brush to create heroic brushstrokes in the manner of his running-cursive scripts. And he tried his hand at design, sculpture and Western-style painting.

During his long artistic career, Lin was active in the local art community and promoted art education through his teaching. With a number of famous artists and friends, he founded the Hong Kong Chinese Art Club, the Bingsun Society (referring to the name of the Chinese cyclical year 1956 when the society was formed) and the Hong Kong Lan Ting (Orchid Pavilion) Society, etc. Other than painting, he also devoted time to community service such as serving in the organising committee of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, teaching at the Department of Extramural Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and participating in many international art education conferences. During his lifetime, Lin published a number of books and articles on Chinese painting.

In support of the exhibition, a fully illustrated catalogue will be published and available at the Gift Shop of the Museum of Art. Meanwhile, a gallery talk as well as art workshops will be organised.

The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It opens from 10am to 6pm daily and is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission is $10 and a half-price concession is available 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 .

Ends/Thursday, September 2, 2004
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