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Hung Hoi's paintings to go on display at Hong Kong City Hall

Eighty-nine paintings representing different periods of renowned local artist Hung Hoi's creativity will go on display tomorrow (August 5).

The exhibition, "Traditional into Contemporary – Art of Hung Hoi", will run at the Hong Kong City Hall until August 15. Twenty small paintings, which feature the scenery of Hong Kong, Paris and Mainland China will move to the Lung Cheung Mall from August 29 to September 10.

The exhibition was opened today (August 4) by the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong Sean-yee, the Chairman of Board of Directors, SPACE, the University of Hong Kong, Mr Linus Cheung Wing-lam, and Hung Hoi.

Speaking at today's ceremony, Ms Wong said that Hung Hoi learnt painting from his father when he was a child. Hung devoted himself to studying the drawing techniques of other artists, which assisted him in developing a solid foundation in art. In his teens, Hung has already attained outstanding achievements in Chinese painting.

"The artworks on display include the large paintings by Hung as well as the new series where he attempts to blend Chinese and Western painting subjects and techniques. By employing traditional Chinese brushstrokes with Western painting materials, Hung creates refreshing works that symbolise his devotion to innovation," Ms Wong said.

The exhibition is the eighth of the "Artists in the Neighbourhood Scheme III" organised by the Art Promotion Office. It showcases the works of Hung Hoi between 1987 and 2006, including large landscape paintings, albums, fan paintings, sketches and small paintings. They reflect the drawing techniques, creative style and the footprints on his exploratory path.

The work, "Ravines of Tai Xing Mountain", a baimiao (line-drawing) horizontal scroll, manifests Hung's superb skill in evoking atmosphere. He follows the old masters' practice of travelling extensively and then creating an ideal landscape. Through Hung's passion for painting landscapes in detailed strokes, viewers can marvel at his delicate brushwork while also losing themselves in his breathtaking scenery and freeing themselves from all their worries.

Hung's drawings display his insights into nature and are the best demonstration of his mastery of basic sketching skills. The essence of mountain rocks and shrubbery are meticulously captured in graceful lines and whimsical views of steep peaks are depicted with minute precision. Hung's sketches are not merely "drafts"; they can be regarded as finished artworks.

In addition, Hung's "Paris Impression" series, "Hong Kong Impression" series and "Autumn Landscape" series portray his new attempt to blend Chinese and Western painting subjects and techniques. Employing traditional Chinese brushstrokes with acrylic and oil paints from the West, Hung creates a hazy and intoxicating ambience; artworks that symbolise the artist's devotion to innovation. Hung created the "Paris Impression" series during his trip to Europe in 2003.

His two large paintings, "Precipitous Beauty of Mount Hua" and "Mount Hua Clad in Snow", completed in 1996, are milestones in his journey of innovating on tradition. They are works of powerful strokes, classic colours, refreshing ink tones and tight composition.

Hung was born in Gulangyu in Xiamen in 1957. As a child, he learnt painting from his father, Hung Chun-shan. From the age of three, he began to draw squares, circles, simple lines, dots and flowers with an ink brush. In Gulangyu, where he grew up, there is picturesque scenery everywhere. Hung seized this opportunity by practising outdoor sketching with his schoolmates in his leisure time. Later, he formally studied Chinese painting under Yang Sheng and the Lingnan master, Yang Shanshen. Hung's interest in restoring old paintings gave him further opportunities to study the masters' works, brushstrokes and composition. All these experiences laid the foundation for the solid artistic style in his works.

Regarding art as his life, Hung has wholeheartedly dedicated himself to Chinese painting. He is neither misled by the numerous new trends of thought existing in art circles today, nor is his determination to improve his art undermined by the lure of short-term gain. While resolutely insisting on the traditional as the cornerstone of his work, he also innovates to match the spirit and times of the modern world.

Hung has participated in numerous exhibitions over the years. Recent exhibitions include "Contemporary Hong Kong Art Biennial Exhibition", "Paris International Salon Asian Art Exhibition", "New York 20th Century Art Exhibition", "Lingnan's New Look - Spring Exhibition 2002", "Collection of Art - 2003", "Hung Hoi's Art", "Contemporary Landscape Paintings Invitational Exhibition - Lofty Mountains and Running Waters", "A Kaleidoscope of Ink-wash Art - Contemporary Hong Kong Ink-wash Paintings" and "Contemporary Hong Kong Ink Painting Exhibition". Hung's works hung in the British Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Taiwan Provincial Museum of Art.

The Hong Kong City Hall is located at 5 Edinburgh Place, Central. It opens from 10am to 8pm daily. The Lung Cheung Mall is located at 138 Lung Cheung Road, Wong Tai Sin. It opens from 6.30am to 11.30pm daily. Admission is free.

For details of the exhibition, visit the website at . For enquiries, call 3101 2712 or 3101 2713.

Ends/Friday, August 4, 2006

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