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Kurt Chan Solo Exhibition “Old Landscape – Lightning, Water and Rocks”

Exhibition details

Opening / Event Date:
15 November, 2023
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Closing / End Date:
30 December, 2023
Event Category:
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Kurt Chan Solo Exhibition

“Old Landscape – Lightning, Water and Rocks”

Date: 15 November – 30 December 2023

Venue: Galerie du Monde, 108 Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong

Opening Reception: 15 November 2023 (Wednesday), 17:00 – 19:00


Galerie du Monde is delighted to present a solo exhibition by Kurt Chan from 15 November to 30 December 2023 in Hong Kong. “Old Landscape – Lightning, Water and Rocks” will feature a dynamic body of new works by the artist, spanning ink and mixed media paintings, to an immersive video installation and 3D-print sculptures.

Kurt Chan’s art is a commanding fusion of spirituality vs materiality, instinct vs method, and the binary between local and Western cultures, each force acting in concert with the other.

A veteran of the Hong Kong art scene, Chan graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1983 and later went to study in the United States. While establishing himself as an artist in the 1990s, Chan struggled between internationalization and localization. Forced, but motivated, Chan generated his own brand of philosophy in mixed media as a contemporary art practice. His mixed media installations were widely exhibited in the 1990-2000s, including the 51st Venice Biennale.

In 2016, Chan retired from his 27-year tenure at the CUHK. A year after, he rented a studio to resume his practice as a full-time artist. He has split the studio into two zones – one side is dedicated to Chinese ink, and the other to Western-style painting. Departing from his concept-based mixed media installations which are more direct in execution, Chan expresses that his paintings are developed from his “lengthy dialogues” with paint and canvas.

Transferring his experience in Chinese calligraphy practice, Chan has employed his techniques with ink on paper to acrylic on unprimed canvas. Chan repeats the process of layering and sgraffito, the resulting works are gestural and rich in textures. The extension of his strokes mimics a web, an electrical network. They also look like tree branches intertwined and lightning strikes. In this new body of work, Chan considers the notion of “landscape” in scientific terms – the rocks are the minerals, the water is the mediator, and the electricity is the tree.

With a guiding sense of human connection, Kurt Chan leads the audience through a multifaceted narrative – reimagining a universe before mankind, while elaborating the Taoist principles of simplicity and living in harmony with nature.



Old Landscape — Lightning, Water and Stone


The original meaning of “old landscape” is the landscape of the Earth before mankind came into existence, or even shortly after the birth of life.

It is said that life on Earth began in a “primordial soup” of water, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, minerals and electricity; water was the medium, the minerals were the materials, and the electricity was the catalyst – the Earth was once a kitchen, where life was created from a heated mixture of gases and elements electrified.

It’s interesting to think of landscapes in scientific terms. The rocks are the minerals, the water is the mediator, and the electricity is the tree.

This assumption is at the core of my series of works, which is inspired by my love for Chinese landscape painting, but I also feel that its inherited format is inadequate for contemporary artistic expression, which unexpectedly pushes me to experiment with different mediums and concepts.

Today, when we talk about landscapes, we naturally have more perspectives than the ancients did, and the scientific perspective is one of the overlooked aspects. From the development of life science on earth to astrophysics, all kinds of phenomena that cannot be comprehended visually not only expand our horizons, but also make us think about our own position in nature and the universe, as well as the purpose of our lives.

By taking a cosmic view of the visible nature of mankind, and by incorporating the Chinese philosophy of Taoism and the discourse of landscape, a subtle relationship can be discerned.

Art is a tool for me to interact with the world, and returning to the primitive world and looking to the infinite universe is my way of resisting the unbearable reality.


Kurt Chan

Hong Kong, 2023



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