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Museum of Art features 60 representative works of Hon Chi-fun

Sixty representative prints and paintings by self-taught artist Hon Chi-fun, who is acknowledged as one of the important artists in Hong Kong, will go on display tomorrow (April 22).

"Secret Codes - The Art of Hon Chi-fun" exhibition will run at the Hong Kong Museum of Art until July 31, 2005.

The exhibition was opened today (April 21). Speaking at the ceremony, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong Sean-yee, said that acclaimed senior master Hon began his artistic career in the 1950s while the local art scene was growing rapidly. In the past 50 years, Mr Hon seriously engaged himself in artistic creation and his creative pursuits continue to the present day.

"Hon has developed a distinctive and unique style. The black-and-white series in his early years has presented the aesthetic quality of Chinese calligraphy and painting. In the later years, philosophical icons of the East and Chinese elements are successfully incorporated in his works, and manipulated by Western techniques and vocabulary.

"Mr Hon has been a close friend of the Hong Kong Museum of Art since the 1960s. He made significant contributions to the Museum and had served as an adjudicator of the Museum," Ms Wong said.

Other officiating guests of the opening ceremony were the President and Vice-Chancellor of the Hong Kong Baptist University, Professor Ng Ching-fai; and Hon Chi-fun.

Born in 1922, Hon Chi-fun displayed a fondness for art as a child. He studied at the Wah Yan College in Kowloon, Hong Kong. A few years after finishing school, he joined the Post Office and at the same time began to paint as a self-taught artist.

In the 1950s, most of Hon's works were oil paintings of landscapes. In the 1960s, he grew more active on the art scene and his works became more abstract in style. Hon then entered an experimental period, trying new materials and techniques.

In the 1970s and 80s, circles and squares became trademark subjects of Hon's works. He once declared: "The circle is me". He also frequently touched on philosophical issues related to life and death, nature and the universe. He was the first artist to use an airbrush in his works, creating a variety of stunning effects. Hon immigrated to Canada in the 1990s and returned to Hong Kong in 2000. He continues to create works of art, which are even more crisp and unconventional than earlier efforts. They also contain more profound thoughts on life, owing partly to a minor stroke Hon suffered in the spring of 2000.

Hon uses a vast array of materials and techniques in his art, including oils, acrylics, silkscreen printing, collage, airbrushing and pouring. Some of his works have been embellished with stones, iron rollers and calligraphy. Despite the wide range of elements involved, Hon’s works always give a strong sense of coherence and harmony. The titles of his paintings always provide hints to the stories behind his art.

The works by Hon featured at the exhibition include prints and paintings from his "Circle" series, early landscapes, his black-and-white works done in the 1960s and his latest works executed in 2004.

The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It opens from 10am to 6pm daily. It is closed on Thursday (except public holiday). 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, April 21, 2005

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