Asia Society Hong Kong is presenting A Story of Light, an exhibition of the ground-breaking Hong Kong artist Hon Chi-fun (1922 – 2019). As a postal inspector by trade, Hon is a self-taught artist who rose to prominence in the 1960s with his radical artistic experiments that combined international influences as a response to Hong Kong’s multi-cultural context. A Story of Light re-contextualizes the evolution of Hon Chi-fun’s practice by contrasting his continual fascination with light as both a material and subject with his deployment of various media and cultural influences. The exhibition presents over thirty artworks spanning four decades of his trailblazing practices in painting, printmaking, and photography.
Through considering the different ways Hon focuses on light in his work, one can discern his desire to resist being labelled or historicized. While Hon was undoubtedly informed by various dominant art movements, including Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, and the New Ink Movement in Hong Kong, he created a visual language that uniquely expresses his multicultural influences and evolving viewpoints spanning multiple geographies and time periods. His diverse oeuvre, developed over years of experimentation and travel, addresses questions of cultural identity through a radical approach to materials and the use of new artistic techniques. For Hon, to be a Hong Kong artist is to remain porous and question boundaries between cultures, mediums, and within the self.
Renowned American light artist James Turrell will also be showing his work side by side Hon’s works, so as to enrich the topic of the exhibition. A Story of Light: Hon Chi-fun is co-curated by Katherine Don and Kaitlin Chan. We will be guided through the tour by Choi Yan Chi.
Choi Yan Chi is a retired Associate Professor of the Academy of Visual Art, Baptist University. She is also the co-founder of 1a Space. She was the first Hong Kong woman artist to show her works at the First Asia Pacific Triennial in 1993 at Queensland Art Gallery Australia. In the same year, she was given a solo exhibition at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Art) in Berlin Germany.