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Fan Yan: Jeux Thèmes Variations – French May Arts Festival

Exhibition details

Opening / Event Date:
3 May, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Closing / End Date:
30 June, 2023
Event Category:
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Live Music Performance
3 June (Sat) 4:30-4:45pm, Alisan Aberdeen

As part of #SouthsideSaturday, we are pleased to present a music performance to compliment the works of the artist Fan Yan whose paintings are inspired by her classical music training.


Germaine Tailleferre, String Quartet, Movement 1 & 2

Philip Glass, String Quartet No. 2, Movement 3 & 4


Violin: Amelia Chan

Violin: Miyaka Wilson

Viola: Damara Ayres Lomdaridze

Cello: Shelagh Heath
RSVP [email protected]

Artist will be present


Opening Hours

13 May-30 June, 2023

Wed-Sat 10am-6pm or by appointment

Alisan Aberdeen

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


Alisan Fine Arts is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition for contemporary painter Fan Yan, featuring her new series Mist and Ostinato at Aberdeen Gallery, and the sponsorship of Fan’s exhibition at Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre (3-8 May), as part of the associated programme of French May Arts Festival 30th Anniversary. The latest series, Mist, is inspired by the subtle changes of sea mist. Fan expresses the rhythm of water and moisture with repeated and precise folding patterns on rice paper. The pink and soft colour tones are filled with the vitality and beauty of nature. Ostinato is like a musical instrument playing “an ink painting” precisely.

The mini concert including string quartet by Philip Glass will be held on 3 June (Sat) 4:30pm-4:45pm at Aberdeen gallery, as part of Southside Saturday by Hong Kong Art Gallery Association. In addition, the opening reception at HKVAC on 3 May featured a live solo performance of Debussy’s (1862-1918) ‘Syrinx’ and Honegger’s (1892-1955) ‘Danse de la Chèvre’ by flutist Megan Sterling.

Trained as a classical musician, Fan Yan was a viola player with Hong Kong Philharmonic, prior to devoting herself to painting in 2011. Using her music background, her works incorporate musical elements, such as her new B/W series Ostinato which is inspired by the Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt (1923-2012)’s Canto Ostinato. The works in the exhibition are like musical pieces presented visually, giving the audience a new way to experience music and art.

Artist Statement

“In Ten Holt’s Canto Ostinato, he wrote a short melodic phrase performed on four pianos, where the canto repeats in a constant rhythmic pattern. The effect is to create a shifting foundation of a circulating ‘obstinate’ song. My technique of folding rice paper in dye to produce patterns that vary slightly in depth and intensity echoes the repetitive yet changing music patterns of the canto ostinato. The way I ‘compose’ painting is how I imagine a musician reading a music score. A visual score, so to speak, inviting audiences to visualise images, forms and patterns of sound vibrations, and inspire all.”

About Fan Yan

Born in a family of musicians in Beijing, Fan Yan was a classically trained violinist and viola player from a young age, while at the same time she was drawn to painting. She came to Hong Kong to study at Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 1987. After graduation, she played with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra for 20 years. In 2011, she began to devote herself to painting, realising her life’s dream. Fan folds and dyes rice paper to divulge patterns reflective of the repetitive nature of music score. With this experimental artistic practice, she constantly explores the interpretation of various elements of music with a new unique visual language. In 2020 she developed a Music Series called Polyphonies which won a number of awards, namely the UOB Art Academy’s Art in Ink 2020, and an Ink Global 2020 award. She has also exhibited in Korea, Singapore, and Russia.



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