Join us for the book launch and reading of Chu Hing Wah’s Hong Kong Art Story and Ho Sin Tung’s Future Perfect Tense, followed by a conversation with Caroline Chiu. This event launches Hong Kong Art Stories, a Tai Kwun Contemporary commission, created by Caroline Chiu Studio. For the past year, these artist books have been lovingly and collectively brought to life, via the artists’ personal stories.
In Chu Hing Wah’s Hong Kong Art Story, the illustrators Hilarie Hon and Sushan Chan have interpreted Mr. Chu’s paintings and life story through his paintings and the evolution of his painting style. His book traces his trajectory in life and in art marking, from working as a psychiatric nurse and discovering art museums in London to his later styles after his retirement. Paying homage to the original without copying can be tricky, and the amazing illustrators must be proud for bringing Mr. Chu’s paintings to life.
In Ho Sin Tung’s book, Future Perfect Tense, the artist looks back at some of the influences that have shaped her as a child and as an artist. Her magical and occasionally dark book invites viewers to ponder what might potentially be scary or frightening as sources of curiosity and viewing. Bringing to mind the dark children’s books of Maurice Sendak or Tomi Ungerer, the artist’s delicate pencil drawings of dark gorillas and rabbits enchant the young and the old alike.
The artist Chu Hing Wah is a Hong Kong master artist, now in his 80s. Active ever, still his painting scenes that capture the joy of living in Hong Kong. Growing up with a latent interest in the artistic process, the well-known and beloved local artist Chu Hing Wah in fact chose to train professionally as a psychiatric nurse where his psychiatric patients to be a natural subject for his paintings. Their social isolation and mental anguish are captured in scenes of folk-like simplicity and stark poignancy. Since retiring from the nursing profession in 1992, Chu has chosen to concentrate on capturing the realities of Hong Kong life, including the effects of urbanisation in regions like the New Territories. Chu completed his degree in Psychiatric Nursing at Maudsley Hospital in London in 1965 and worked as staff nurse in Castle Peak Psychiatric Hospital from 1968 to 1989. After completing a Certificate course in Art and Design at the Extra-mural Studies of the University of Hong Kong, he proceeded to become a member of the Visual Arts Society in 1974 and the Hong Kong Sculptors Association in 1982 and was appointed Chairman of the Visual Arts Society from 1983 to 1986. He received the Urban Council Fine Arts Award in 1989 and was awarded 'Painter of the Year' by Hong Kong Artists' Guild Association in 1992. In 1993, he was granted a scholarship for art research in New York by the Asian Cultural Council.
Ho Sin Tung started learning painting in Cultural Corner, founded by Gaylord Chan. Having graduated from Immanuel Lutheran College in 2005 and the Department of Fine Arts of Chinese University in Hong Kong in 2008, she is now a full-time artist. Her two-dimensional work predominantly uses pencil, graphite and watercolour in combination with found and ready-made images – including the use of stickers, maps, charts, rubber-stamps and timelines. She had her solo exhibition “carus Shrugged at Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong (2015) and participated in SeMA Mediacity Biennale Seoul (2014) and the 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012). Ho nourishes a passion for cinema and many of her works are inspired by movies, or by her personal experience of watching a movie. Drawn to horror scenarios, she believes in ghosts and expresses some of her deep fears in her drawings. Her representation of human bodies is therefore at the edge of reality, reflecting her fantasies, pains and obsessions.
Caroline Chiu is the creator behind Hong Kong Art Series. This series of children’s books was conceived by Caroline Chiu Studio as a curatorial and educational tool to encourage appreciation for Hong Kong’s own art histories, told by Hong Kong artists. As an art reviewer, artist and collector who has been an active supporter and participant in the Hong Kong art scene since the mid 80s, Chiu is passionate about supporting Hong Kong artists and documenting their place within art history. It is our hope that one by one, the books will tell the stories of Hong Kong artists and inspire a new generation of artists and creative minds.