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New Donation of the Chih Lo Lou Collection of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy

The Hong Kong Museum of Art receives generous donation of 355 Chinese painting and calligraphy artworks from Chih Lo Lou Art Promotion (Non-profit making) Ltd., which are rare treasures well known among the international art and museum community. The donation attests to the collector's recognition of the museum's efforts to conserve art treasures and promote historic arts. Furthermore, it recognises Hong Kong's leading role in the preservation of Chinese art and cultural heritage as well as its status as a hub for cultural exchange between the East and the West.

Chih Lo Lou Art Promotion (Non-profit making) Ltd was established by the late Mr. Ho Iu-kwong (1907-2006) in 1985 with a mission to preserve Chinese painting and calligraphy and promote the art and cultural heritage of China. His studio was named Chih Lo Lou, meaning "bliss", for the pleasure that one derives from appreciating ancient masterpieces, alluding to a Chinese saying that it is blissful to perform good deeds.

The Chief Executive, Mrs. Carrie Lam, presented a certificate of appreciation to Chih Lo Lou Art Promotion (Non-profit making) Ltd., represented by its Chairman, Mr. Ho Sai-chu, at the Chih Lo Lou Collection of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Donation Ceremony held at the Government House on 19 July 2018. Mrs. Lam commended the selfless and passionate dedication of the late Mr. Ho Iu-kwong and his family in preserving Chinese cultural heritage, which is also largely encouraging for the Government to develop the cultural industry in Hong Kong.

As one of the three major private collections of ancient Chinese painting and calligraphy in Hong Kong, the donated works from Chih Lo Lou Collection of Chinese painting and calligraphy span from the Song dynasty to the 20th century and chronicle the aesthetics of different times and regions. During the Donation Ceremony, Mr. Ho Sai-chu recalled that his father, the late Mr. Ho Iu-kwong, had always been passionate about Chinese art and culture and had begun collecting Chinese painting and calligraphy in Hong Kong since 1952, when China was stricken with warfare and turmoil and artefacts were fast exiting the country. Agonised by the scramble for such treasures and their subsequent drain from the country, he pledged to play his part as a Chinese national by preserving China's artistic heritage.  He particularly admired the paintings by the "Ming loyalists" in the Qing dynasty, which depict their lofty aspirations and noble integrity, and are the most significant and prestigious artworks among the collection. The patriotic and principled Ming loyalists coped with their desolation by immersing themselves in travel, painting and writing. Their virtue and nobility still shines from the artworks they left behind. Mr. Ho Iu-kwong held high regard and admiration for artists of this period, that he also insisted that the artist's temperament should take precedence over the artwork's quality, and thus resolved to collect only works by artists of irreproachable character. The Chih Lo Lou Collection of Chinese painting and calligraphy includes works by members of the Four Monks, namely Bada Shanren and Shitao; also Cheng Sui and Dai Benxiao of the Huangshan School; Guangdong loyalists Kuang Lu and Li Suiqiu; and also Huang Daozhou, Fu Shan, Yang Wencong, Chen Hongshou and Gong Xian. The collection also comprises works by members of the Four Ming Masters, including Wen Zhengming and Tang Yin; Lan Ying during the late Ming dynasty; the Songjiang School of painting led by Dong Qichang, and Wang Shimin and Wang Hui of the Four Wangs of the early Qing dynasty. In addition, the collection also includes works by Hua Yan and Jin Nong, members of the Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou during the mid-Qing dynasty.

The collection is being donated unrecompensed by the Ho family to the Hong Kong Museum of Art for permanent preservation and exhibition. When the museum reopens in the second half of 2019, a dedicated gallery named the "Chih Lo Lou Gallery of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy" will be established for permanent display of the collection. A curator and a supporting team will organise exhibitions and undertake research and educational initiatives to promote Chinese art through the collection. Hong Kong residents and art enthusiasts from around the world will be able to visit and appreciate this remarkable collection of Chinese painting and calligraphy and reflect on, as well as empathise with, the vision and dedication of the late Mr. Ho.

 

The Chief Executive, Mrs. Carrie Lam (left), presented a certificate of appreciation to Chih Lo Lou Art Promotion (Non-profit making) Ltd., represented by its Chairman, Mr. Ho Sai-chu (right).

 

The Chief Executive, Mrs. Carrie Lam (right), viewed selected paintings from the collection at the Donation Ceremony with
Mr. Ho Sai-chu (left), Chairman of Chih Lo Lou Art Promotion (Non-profit making) Ltd. 

 

Tang Yin (1470 – 1523)
Peach Blossom Retreat
Not dated
Handscroll, ink on paper
28 x 117 cm

 

Bada Shanren (1626 – 1705)
Fish
Not dated
Hanging scroll, ink on paper
26 x 51 cm

 

Huang Daozhou (1585 – 1646)
Pines and rock
Not dated
Handscroll, ink on paper (section)
28 x 284 cm

 

Shitao (1630 – 1707)
Landscapes depicting poems of Huang Yanlü
Dated 1701 – 1702
Album of 22 leaves, ink and colour on paper (Selection)
Each 20.5 x 34 cm

 

Mr. Ho Iu-kwong at the Fook Lee Construction Company in 2002.
 

 

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