Exquisite ceramics and calligraphy on display at CityU Gallery

Chen Longgen

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About 80 exquisite examples of ceramics and calligraphy by the well-known local artist Chan Chung-kong are on display at CityU Gallery from 6 June to 2 July 2007.

The exhibition opened on 6 June at CityU Gallery. The officiating guests at the opening ceremony included Professor Chung Wah-nan, former Chairman of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and former Director of Graduate Centre of Architecture and Visiting Professor of Peking University; Mr King Chia-lun, Consultant of Hong Kong Society for Education in Art; Ms Rosanna Li Wei-han, Assistant Professor at the School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Dr Tam Cheung-on, Division Head of the Visual Arts Division, Department of Creative Arts and Physical Education, Hong Kong Institute of Education; and Mr James Ng Kam-ming, Executive Director of CityU Extension and Chairman of CityU Gallery Management Committee; and Mr Chan Chung-kong.

Professor Chung welcomed Mr Chan's "return" to Hong Kong with his works and commented that the ceramic works "have kept the same rich but simple style though there is a touch of humanity in his recent creations."

Mr Chan, who has been living in the US for many years, is an expert in ceramics, having started to practice more than forty years ago. He is highly skilled in the general process of making ceramics, especially in terms of materials, facilities, equipment and technique.

From the outset, the artist begins with sculptural forms, although he also uses utensil forms, and aims for an overall visual impact. The result is self-explanatory, for example The Shadow Dancer, Memories of Hong Kong Outlying Islands and Clouds of the Primal Cosmos. Mr Chan's work has been exhibited frequently in Hong Kong with a good number of friends, and in recent years his work has been exhibited in California. Some of his work on display at the CityU gallery is on loan from friends.

Mr Chan also took on calligraphy, seal carving, painting and sculpture from early on though this is the first time his calligraphy was publicly displayed in Hong Kong. Mr Chan has a unique understanding of the art of calligraphy. He said, "it is not just the reproduction of characters, nor typesetting; it reaches further than form and structure to reflect on the calligrapher's artistic accomplishment and judgment."

Mr Chan claims that, when using ancient literature, "one must fully assimilate and understand the text before committing onto paper. The calligraphy should be repeated many times without tiredness, until one feels at one with the text." In recent years, Mr Chan even conceived of an unusual fantasy to free calligraphy from the rule of characters in order to achieve a freer presentation.

The exhibition is on display at CityU Gallery, 6/F Amenities Building. Opening hours are 10am to 7pm daily.


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