Across Time and Space:
Re-visiting Twentieth-Century Chinese Oil Paintings

15 Mar 2023 - 25 Jun 2023
1/F, T.T. Tsui Building, UMAG, HKU, 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

The University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, is honoured to present Across Time and Space: Re-visiting Twentieth-Century Chinese Oil Paintings. Highlighting the versatile aspects of Chinese oil paintings across a diverse spectrum of themes, styles, techniques, time periods, and regional and local characteristics, the exhibition presents a remarkable depth and virtuosity. Works range from intimate interior views to panoramic coastal landscapes; from collective and individual memories to urban scenes that activate dialogues of painting practices across cross-cultural and cross-media encounters.

The selected works represent various artistic styles and visual trends along with artists’ evolving perceptions and sensitivities about the changing face of twentieth-century China. These rarely displayed works include paintings by iconic masters and influential art educators, including Liu Haisu (1896–1994) and Wu Guanzhong (1919–2010), paintings by talented artists who trained in China’s leading art academies in the second half of the twentieth century, as well as artists who were crucial to the development of the modern art scene in Hong Kong, such as Lee Byng (Li Bing, 1903–1994), Ng Po-wan (Wu Buyun, 1904–2001), Yee Bon (Yu Ben, 1905–1995) and Hon Chi-fun (Han Zhixun, 1922–2019).

In the early twentieth century, oil painting as a non-indigenous medium began to be taught in Chinese art academies. Over time, it has become a crucial and increasingly popular portal, inviting artists to explore cross-cultural dynamics and creative expression. We invite audiences to re-look at, re-encounter and re-experience these Chinese oil paintings and their sociocultural contexts, which is critical for understanding the broader category of twentieth-century Chinese paintings and their place within the narratives of art history.

Please click here for exhibition handout.

Please click here for details of public guided tours.

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