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Contemporary Forms of Ink Painting, Guided tours: 2pm,4pm,6pm

Exhibition details

25 April, 2020
12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:
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Selected artists: Michael Cherney, Kum Chi-keung, Lan Zhenghui, Nan Qi, Walasse Ting, Zhang Yirong, Zhang Yu

South Side Art Day: 25 April, Saturday, 12pm-7pm

Guided tours: 2pm, 4pm & 6pm, each tour lasts approximately 10 minutes

A shuttlebus will travel among the galleries from 12 pm to 6pm, stopping at Ha Lung Industrial Building, Hing Wai Centre and Global Trade Square in 15-minute intervals

Address: 2305 Hing Wai Centre, 7 Tin Wan Praya Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong


Exhibition continues until July 4th

Aside from 25 April, gallery will remain open Wednesday to Saturday 10am-6pm


Following the virtual tour of our Central exhibition, Ineffable Garden, this week we are delighted to bring you a virtual tour featuring our Aberdeen gallery show under the title, Contemporary Forms of Ink Painting, coinciding with HK Art Gallery Association’s South Side Art Day on April 25th. We are also happy to announce that starting from April 18th, the Aberdeen gallery will remain open from Wednesday to Saturday 10am-6pm until further notice.

For a long time, contemporary ink art was limited to the Asian continent. However, through the diligent work from these artists, contemporary ink art has found its way to the West and has since influenced many artists. While rooted in ink tradition, these artists strive to revolutionize the classical format and reinvented traditional ink art, be it through the use of innovative media, choice of subject matter, presentation or composition. Artists showcasing here include American photographer Michael Cherney (Qiu Mai), the prestigious Chinese diaspora Walasse Ting, internationally acclaimed Zhang Yu, Nan Qi and Lan Zhenghui from Mainland China, Hong Kong sculptor Kum Chi-keung and emerging female artist Zhang Yirong.

These artists collectively stand at the forefront of a movement to take traditional ink painting into a new era, pushing the boundaries of what defines and determines contemporary ink art.


Walasse Ting (1928-2010) was among the first generation of of Chinese artists to live abroad in the 1940s and 1950s. Self-named the “Flower Thief,” he is celebrated for his signature, splashy and colourful depictions of sultry women. Ting was born in Wuxi, China, left for Europe and America at the young age of 19, and eventually settled in New York to develop his artistic career. There, Ting befriended experimental artists Karel Appel, Pierre Alechensky, Sam Francis, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Joan Mitchell. Strongly influenced by the avant-garde movements in New York, particularly Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, Walasse Ting experimented with painting beautiful women with the Eastern tools of brush and ink, developing the distinctive style that we are so familiar with today.

Alisan Fine Arts, who current represents the artist’s estate, organised Ting’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong in 1986 and has since then held more than ten solo shows for him. His works are housed in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Chicago Institute of Art; Tate Gallery, London; Musée Cernuschi, Paris; Shanghai Art Museum; Taipei Fine Arts Museum; Hong Kong Museum of Art.

Through various media, including installation, video, and performance, Zhang Yu creates works that have eliminated the Chinese brush and often ink altogether, proposing, “ink art is not ink painting.” In his best-known Fingerprints series, Zhang divorces his work entirely from painterly qualities and addresses cultural questions regarding identity and society. The series was shown at the Today Art Museum Beijing 2012 and Art Museum of Rome in 2011.

Ink painter Nan Qi is famed for his eponymous ”Nan Qi strokes” and “Nan Qi halo dots” 3-D images and interpretations of Chinese cultural icons. His recent series of large-scale single bills of various currencies nods humorously to the Pop Art influence of Warhol, and simultaneously to the money-driven obsession within China and the art industry itself. Museum collections include The Luxe Art Museum, Singapore; National Museum of China and Wuhan Art Museum, China.

Lan Zhenghui’s large-scale black and white “power brush” paintings combine the influence of abstract expressionism (in particular Action Painting) with bold Chinese calligraphic strokes. An active participant in the ’85 New Wave Movement, Lan’s selection for a 2006 solo exhibition at the National Art Museum of China launched his career, with subsequent features at the 2015 Venice Biennale and Beijing’s Today Museum (2019). Museum collections include Princeton Art Museum, USA and National Art Museum of China, Beijing.

Hong Kong Sculptor

The important Hong Kong artist Kum Chi-keung is best known for sculptural installations in the shape of birdcages to explore social and environmental issues. In this latest iteration, he harkens motifs of traditional ink painting, etching classical pine trees upon the cage’s stainless steel walls. Kum represented Hong Kong for China8, NRW-Forum, Dusseldorf & Osthaus Museum Hagen, Germany 2015 and is included in the Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Heritage Museum collections. His sculpture Apple Blossom 3 is currently on view at Asia Society Hong Kong till June 28th.

Emerging Woman Artist

Zhang Yirong is known for her quietly sophisticated gongbi paintings, influenced by her eight years of training under acclaimed artist Liu Dan. Her art is swept up in a wide range of classical influences, particularly the Song Dynasty tradition of direct observation. Her compositions avoid hackneyed themes and magnify the organic source of perfect beauty. Collections include Brooklyn Museum, New York, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA.

American Photographer

Michael Cherney (Qiu Mai) reflects his deep appreciation for ink painting tradition in compositions resembling Chinese landscapes, printed on rice paper and often mounted on a traditional fan or album leaf format. As a thirty-year resident of Beijing, Michael Cherney has travelled throughout China, seeking sites with historical relevance to his black and white photographic works. Cherney’s works were the first photographic works to enter the Asian Art collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a testimony to his role in cross-cultural artistic globalization. His recent exhibitions include Steams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2019 and Ink Worlds, Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, California, 2018.


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