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When Form Matters: Following the Path of Lui Shou-kwan to Zen Painting

13 August 2021 - 13 August 2022



Featuring 41 paintings by Hong Kong ink painting master Lui Shou-kwan from the collection of the HKMoA and 11 exhibits loaned from the Art Museum of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the exhibition charts the artistic journey of the forerunner of modern ink art.

The pioneer of the New Ink Art Movement in Hong Kong, Lui (1919-1975) starred in the local art scene in the 1960s, and had a profound influence on the development of modern ink art. Lui traced the great outlines of Chinese art history and Western modern art theories, and developed a unique painting style through a vast range of emulating Chinese and Western classics, landscape sketching and experimentation with brush and ink as well as composition.

Lui believed that form matters for art. Form derives from the appearances of all things and beings; it becomes art only if artists make the creative effort. In the “Discovering Forms in Nature”, “Understanding Forms from Old to New” and the “Enlightening Forms through Zen” sections in the exhibition, visitors can follow Lui’s innovative concept, understand how he honed his painting skills by emulating Chinese and Western classics; discovered forms through observation and sketching from nature; and how he managed to bring forth new forms by injecting Oriental philosophies into his art, finally arriving at his signature Zen paintings.

Along his artistic journey, Lui radiated his unwavering commitment in promoting the education of ink painting, Chinese and Western philosophies, and art theories. The works of Lui’s contemporaries and students, including Hong Kong artists Aser But, Irene Chou, Chui Tze-hung, Kan Tai-keung, Leung Kui-ting, Ng Yiu-chung and Wucius Wong, will also be exhibited, paying tribute to the major contribution Lui made to art education and the development of modern ink art. The HKMoA also obtained valuable audio recordings of Lui’s class teachings in the 1960s, and a selection of clippings will be played in the gallery, allowing visitors to experience his classes and comprehend the ideas of his teaching.

In addition, multimedia elements have been included in the exhibition. Visitors will be able to explore forms in Lui’s paintings through an interactive augmented reality device at the gallery.


13 August 2021
13 August 2022
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