SOAS University of London

Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London

Hong Kong

Contemporary Art from the Collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art
8 July - 20 September 2002

The exhibition features 22 paintings, from the collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, showing the dynamic innovation of Hong Kong artists in the renewal of a time-honoured tradition. Their ingenious contribution has sustained ink painting as one of Hong Kong's most vital and developed currents of artistic creation. This exhibition also includes works that are explicitly defiant to tradition. Artists resort to entirely different means in answering many of the artistic problems that contemporary artists in Hong Kong confront. These works are presented here as Hong Kong artists' responses to the time-honoured tradition of Chinese painting.

The works encapsulate the development of ink painting in Hong Kong over the last decades. The continual renewal and invigoration of ink painting in the rapidly changing city show the persistence of ingrained Chinese cultural symbolism in a long revered pictorial tradition that has confronted cultural erosion with deft adaptation to non-indigenous elements.

This exhibition shows Hong Kong artists' experimentation with new technical devices and presentation methods. Some transform the distinctive characteristics of ink and brush as alternatives to the traditional treatment of space, perspective and forms in Chinese painting. Their relationship to traditional ink painting is at best oblique. Subtle references to the prototypes can be drawn from evidences such as multi-panelled vertical-scroll presentation format, vestiges of imprinted ink, silk or Chinese paper.

The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) in London, the official representation of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in the United Kingdom, is organising a Hong Kong Festival in London July - September 2002, to coincide with the celebration of the 5th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR. The Festival, the largest event of its kind ever organised by the HKSAR Government in London, this exhibition is part of that festival which aims to highlight the many facets of Hong Kong as Asia's World City. Further information can be found at The Hong Kong Museum of Art.