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Works of Wucius Wong on show at Museum of Art

A retrospective exhibition to commemorate the accomplishment of Wucius Wong will be held at the Hong Kong Museum of Art from tomorrow (December 22) to March 4, 2007.

The exhibition, "At the East-West Crossroads -- The Art of Wucius Wong", featuring 77 representative works in five chronological sections, showcases Wong's stylistic evolution and superb achievements.

Speaking today (December 21) at the opening ceremony of the exhibition, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho Chi-ping, said world-renowned artist Wucius Wong was the leading figure on the Hong Kong art scene. He had been active in the art field and made significant contributions in art, art criticism and art education over the past 50 years.

"He started his artistic pursuit in the 50s, studied in the United States in the 60s and introduced modernism into ink painting. Upon his return, he set up art courses at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Meanwhile, he served as Assistant Curator of the City Hall Museum and Art Gallery, and Senior Lecturer and later Principal Lecturer of the Swire School of Design of the Hong Kong Polytechnic, nurturing generations of young artists and designers. His career mirrors the development and the unique identity of Hong Kong art and culture."

"In recent years, Wong has been dedicating himself to the reform of contemporary Chinese ink painting. This exhibition, entitled 'At the East-West Crossroads', incarnates the spirit and the fruits of his endeavour. By incorporating Chinese landscape elements and Western design concepts, his works unveil a new horizon in ink painting," Dr Ho said.

Wucius Wong is among the earliest veteran artists who introduced modernism into Hong Kong art. His mentor then was Lü Shoukun, a renowned painter who mastered classical Chinese painting and modern concepts and aesthetics. Lü advocated individual creativity and pioneered the movement of new ink painting in Hong Kong. His vision and cultivation had a profound impact on Wucius Wong who proceeded to incorporate Eastern and Western elements in his art, and won the appreciation for blending the spirit of the East with the aesthetics of the West to create a consummate spectrum of artistic creation.

Born in Taiping, Guangdong Province in 1936, Wong moved to Hong Kong in his early age. His odyssey began with his first encounter with Western concepts in his early days, when he practised Western painting, watercolours and outdoor sketching, and studied art and design in the United States.

From the 1960s to mid 1970s, when many art associations mushroomed and multi-faceted explorations into Eastern and Western cultures sprouted in the art circle, Wong, apart from his engagement in art administration, was already an active artist in tune with Western art trends, experimenting with design concepts and structural composition.

Between mid 1970s and mid 1980s, Hong Kong people started turning to China in search of their roots and origins. Wong echoed this search in his work, which explored with Western artistic vocabulary an Eastern approach in the manipulation of lines, texture, light and composition. When Hong Kong faced the challenge of imminent drastic changes from mid 1980s to the 1990s, Wong joined many Hong Kongers in his decision to settle overseas. His art went through a change in style with the use of Western materials and new approaches.

In mid 1990s, Wong returned to find his roots and dreams. Those were new dreams intertwined with the Hong Kong’s future, moving towards globalisation and cross-boundaries. He took up teaching again and explored a new realm of endless possibilities by reinterpreting the ink painting media of water, ink, paper and brush.

In support of the exhibition, a fully illustrated catalogue will be published and available at the Gift Shop of the Museum of Art.

The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It opens from 10am to 6pm from Sunday to Wednesday and Fridays, and from 10am to 8pm on Saturdays. Closed at 5pm on Christmas Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of the Chinese New Year. 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, December 21, 2006
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