29 September 2017

A Field in Bloom:
Highlights of Chinese Art to Mark the 60th Anniversary of the Department of Fine Arts, CUHK



To mark the occasion of its 60th anniversary, the Department of Fine Arts at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is organizing an exhibition entitled ‘A Field in Bloom: Highlights of Chinese Art to Mark the 60th Anniversary of the Department of Fine Arts, CUHK’, jointly with the Art Museum, CUHK. The exhibition runs through two periods, from 30 September 2017 to 3 December 2107 and from 8 December 2017 to 21 January 2018, with collections taken from the Department of Fine Arts and individual exhibits borrowed from the New Asia College and the Art Museum, showcasing sixty great works of painting and calligraphy done by the Department's former teachers and visitors over sixty years. Most of the works are brought to the public for the very first time to demonstrate the art and craft of these eminent painters and calligraphers. 

The opening ceremony for the exhibition was held today (29 September). Those present included Prof. Henry N.C. Wong, Head of New Asia College; Prof. Mayching Kao, former Professor of Fine Arts; Prof. Frank Vigneron, Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts; Prof. Tong Kam-tang, Associate Professor of the Department of Fine Arts; Prof. Leung Yuen-sang, Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies; Mr. Christopher Mok, Chairman, Advisory Committee of the Art Museum; Prof. YIU Chun-chong Josh, Director of the Art Museum and Dr. Phil Chan, Research-Assistant Curator (Painting and Calligraphy) of the Art Museum, CUHK. 

The exhibition's title comes from a line of inscription in a demonstration sketch by Mr. Ting Yin-Yung, a founding teacher of the Department of Fine Arts, which reads: ‘A field in bloom is deserving of all the compliments’. This imagery aptly sums up the experience and mission of the Department. Despite its relatively small size, the Department has become a gathering place for masters in the field, which is blooming in earnest; it is also a beautiful, lush field where students are nurtured and grow to their full potential. 

Divided into three parts, ‘Works of the Masters’, ‘Lessons in Artistry’ and ‘Impromptu Compositions’, the sixty exhibits were done by masters including but not limited to Chao Ho-chin, Pu Shin-yu, Koo Tsin-yaw, Liu Haisu, Huang Chun-pi, Li Kuchan, Tseng Ke-tuan, Guan Liang, Ting Yin-yung, Chao Shao-an, Cheng Yet-por, Wang Chi-ch'ien, Chang Pi-han, Lu Yanshao, Jin Qinbo, Li Xiongcai, Guan Shanyue, Qi Gong, Pu Songchuang, Huang Miaozi, Fang Zhaoling, Van I-pong, Jao Tsung-i, Shaw Li-sheng, Song Wenzhi, Cheng Shifa, Chow Su-sing, Ya Ming, Chiang Zhao-shen, Huang Zhou, Ma Kwok-kuen, Chen Sui-kang, and Jat See-yeu. The exhibition shows the development of the Department over the years and lends valuable substance to the study of modern and contemporary Chinese painting and calligraphy, as well as art education in Hong Kong. One can also catch a glimpse of the discerning insights of the teachers at the Department and its commitment and contribution to the blooming field of Chinese art education. 

The accompanying catalogue, A Field in Bloom edited by Prof. Tong Kam-tang and Dr. Phil Chan, is published to reveal the literati cultivation brought about by the works of the masters in the field, as well as to demonstrate the valuable efforts that the Department of Fine Arts has invested in throughout the years. In addition to the exhibition catalogue, Prof. Tong Kam-tang from the Department of Fine Arts, and Mr. Ross Yau, an alumnus of the Department and also a practicing artist are invited to present a public lecture and host a Chinese ink painting workshop respectively. This will provide an excellent opportunity for the public to understand the notions and practices of the Department in Chinese arts education. 

Details of the exhibitions are as follows:

Exhibition Period: Period I: 30 September 2017 – 3 December 2017
Period II: 8 December 2017 – 21 January 2018
Exhibition Venue: Gallery I, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Opening Hours: Mondays to Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sundays and Public Holidays: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed: Thursdays (except the day following Mid-Autumn Festival), Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year Holidays
Enquiries: 3943-7416



(From left) Dr. Phil Chan, Research-Assistant Curator (Painting and Calligraphy) of the Art Museum; Prof. Tong Kam-tang, Associate Professor of the Department of Fine Arts, Prof. Frank Vigneron, Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts; Prof. Henry N.C. Wong, Head of New Asia College; Prof. Mayching Kao, former Professor of Fine Arts; Prof. Leung Yuen-sang, Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies; and Prof. Josh Yiu, Director of the Art Museum, CUHK officiate at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the exhibition.
(From left) Dr. Phil Chan, Research-Assistant Curator (Painting and Calligraphy) of the Art Museum; Prof. Tong Kam-tang, Associate Professor of the Department of Fine Arts, Prof. Frank Vigneron, Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts; Prof. Henry N.C. Wong, Head of New Asia College; Prof. Mayching Kao, former Professor of Fine Arts; Prof. Leung Yuen-sang, Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies; and Prof. Josh Yiu, Director of the Art Museum, CUHK officiate at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the exhibition.

Prof. YIU Chun-chong Josh, Director of the Art Museum, CUHK delivers a speech.
Prof. YIU Chun-chong Josh, Director of the Art Museum, CUHK delivers a speech.

Prof. Henry N.C. Wong, Head of New Asia College, CUHK delivers a speech.
Prof. Henry N.C. Wong, Head of New Asia College, CUHK delivers a speech.

Prof. Mayching Kao, former Professor of Fine Arts, CUHK delivers a speech.
Prof. Mayching Kao, former Professor of Fine Arts, CUHK delivers a speech.

Prof. Frank Vigneron, Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts, CUHK delivers a speech.
Prof. Frank Vigneron, Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts, CUHK delivers a speech.

Prof. Tong Kam-tang, Associate Professor of the Department of Fine Arts, CUHK accounts for the exhibition.
Prof. Tong Kam-tang, Associate Professor of the Department of Fine Arts, CUHK accounts for the exhibition.

A group photo of officiating guests and the former teaching staff of the Department of Fine Arts.
A group photo of officiating guests and the former teaching staff of the Department of Fine Arts.

Ting Yin-yung (1902–1978)
Bird-and-flower Painting: Demonstration Drafts
Dated 1962
Ink on paper
10 leaves, 34.8 x 46.5 cm each
Collection of Department of Fine Arts, CUHK
Ting Yin-yung took part in the founding of the Fine Arts Department and stayed on as a faculty member of the Department till 1978. This set of bird-and-flower sketches numbers among the many available demonstration drafts of his. Ten leaves are selected here, out of the 21-leaf set, to showcase their well-developed composition, simple but vivid depiction, and full spectrum of ink and brush use, which are reminiscent of Bada Shanren.
Ting Yin-yung (1902–1978)
Bird-and-flower Painting: Demonstration Drafts
Dated 1962
Ink on paper
10 leaves, 34.8 x 46.5 cm each
Collection of Department of Fine Arts, CUHK
Ting Yin-yung took part in the founding of the Fine Arts Department and stayed on as a faculty member of the Department till 1978. This set of bird-and-flower sketches numbers among the many available demonstration drafts of his. Ten leaves are selected here, out of the 21-leaf set, to showcase their well-developed composition, simple but vivid depiction, and full spectrum of ink and brush use, which are reminiscent of Bada Shanren.

Tseng Ke-tuan (1900–1975)
Calligraphy in Four Scripts
Dated 1966
Vertical scroll, ink on paper
167 x 45.5 cm each
Collection of Department of Fine Arts, CUHK
Tseng Ke-tuan settled in Hong Kong in 1949 as a teacher at the Department of Chinese of the New Asia College. 1957–75, he taught calligraphy and poetic inscription at the Fine Arts Department, performing a signal service to the Department in calligraphy education. This exhibit, in four scrolls, attests to Tseng’s profciency in the four main calligraphic scripts. Whether it is the writings after the model calligraphies Inscription of the San Family Plate and Stele for Zhang Qian or those in his own styles, the work gives off an air of boldness and elegance. The scrolls in regular and cursive scripts model respectively after the styles of the Tang-dynasty calligraphers Chu Suiliang (596–658) and Monk Huaisu (mid-late 8th century), displaying a refinement and nimbleness typical of his works.
Tseng Ke-tuan (1900–1975)
Calligraphy in Four Scripts
Dated 1966
Vertical scroll, ink on paper
167 x 45.5 cm each
Collection of Department of Fine Arts, CUHK
Tseng Ke-tuan settled in Hong Kong in 1949 as a teacher at the Department of Chinese of the New Asia College. 1957–75, he taught calligraphy and poetic inscription at the Fine Arts Department, performing a signal service to the Department in calligraphy education. This exhibit, in four scrolls, attests to Tseng’s profciency in the four main calligraphic scripts. Whether it is the writings after the model calligraphies Inscription of the San Family Plate and Stele for Zhang Qian or those in his own styles, the work gives off an air of boldness and elegance. The scrolls in regular and cursive scripts model respectively after the styles of the Tang-dynasty calligraphers Chu Suiliang (596–658) and Monk Huaisu (mid-late 8th century), displaying a refinement and nimbleness typical of his works.

Liu Haisu (1896–1994)
Mount Huang
Dated 1981
Horizontal scroll, ink on paper
145.5 x 365.5 cm
Shaw Li-sheng (1919–1983): figures
Jao Tsung-i (b.1917): inscriptions
Collection of Art Museum, CUHK
Liu Haisu was invited to the Fine Arts Department on 1 February – 31 March 1981 as a visiting professor and delivered six lectures and demonstrations. This composition took place on 21 March when Liu painted Mount Huang with the splashed-ink (pomo) technique and inscribed a poem on it. The expansive landscape, painted in bold, imposing strokes, gave full play to his masterly ink and brush use. Shaw Li-sheng then followed by ingeniously adding the figures of “an old man with a cane” and “a boy leading the way” on the foreground peak. Professor Jao Tsung-i finished the work by inscribing another poem on top, showcasing his brisk, impressive calligraphy and poetic expression at the same time. A joint work that looks as if it were composed by a single artist, this painting is a superb testimony to the three masters’ friendship and refined amusement in sharing the impromptu composition process.
Liu Haisu (1896–1994)
Mount Huang
Dated 1981
Horizontal scroll, ink on paper
145.5 x 365.5 cm
Shaw Li-sheng (1919–1983): figures
Jao Tsung-i (b.1917): inscriptions
Collection of Art Museum, CUHK
Liu Haisu was invited to the Fine Arts Department on 1 February – 31 March 1981 as a visiting professor and delivered six lectures and demonstrations. This composition took place on 21 March when Liu painted Mount Huang with the splashed-ink (pomo) technique and inscribed a poem on it. The expansive landscape, painted in bold, imposing strokes, gave full play to his masterly ink and brush use. Shaw Li-sheng then followed by ingeniously adding the figures of “an old man with a cane” and “a boy leading the way” on the foreground peak. Professor Jao Tsung-i finished the work by inscribing another poem on top, showcasing his brisk, impressive calligraphy and poetic expression at the same time. A joint work that looks as if it were composed by a single artist, this painting is a superb testimony to the three masters’ friendship and refined amusement in sharing the impromptu composition process.

Lu Yanshao (1909–1993)
Mountains and Clouds
Dated 1987
Hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper
69 x 42.8 cm
Collection of Department of Fine Arts, CUHK
Lu Yanshao visited the Fine Arts Department in May 1981 and on 4 January – 4 February 1987 for lectures and demonstrations, and left the sketches and paintings from the visit to the Department. This landscape was an impromptu composition during Lu’s visit to the Fine Arts Department on 4 January – 4 February 1987. It showcases the drifting clouds and mists and layered mountains in neat, powerful brushstrokes — a true masterpiece.
Lu Yanshao (1909–1993)
Mountains and Clouds
Dated 1987
Hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper
69 x 42.8 cm
Collection of Department of Fine Arts, CUHK
Lu Yanshao visited the Fine Arts Department in May 1981 and on 4 January – 4 February 1987 for lectures and demonstrations, and left the sketches and paintings from the visit to the Department. This landscape was an impromptu composition during Lu’s visit to the Fine Arts Department on 4 January – 4 February 1987. It showcases the drifting clouds and mists and layered mountains in neat, powerful brushstrokes — a true masterpiece.