Hong Kong International Art and Antiques Fair (HKIAAF 09)

The 4th annual Hong Kong International Art and Antiques Fair (HKIAAF 09) will be held from 3-6 October 2009.

Last year, HKIAAF 08 showcased some 2,000 superb works of art, exhibited by over 70 leading Asian, European and American galleries, and recorded sales of over HK$100 million. The Fair was attended by almost 18,000 visitors from all over the world. This year, HKIAAF 09 will again host leading Hong Kong and international galleries and will showcase a combination of both antiques and contemporary art. (For the most updated news, please visit their official website at http://www.aaifair.com.)

Qinghai and Southern Gansu Tour with UMAG Director, Yeung Chun-tong (Conducted in Cantonese)

Overview:
The itinerary will follow the footsteps of ancient Buddhist priests along the Silk Road in Qinghai and Southern Gansu provinces. It includes a visit to a Neolithic site at Liuwan where 1,500 tombs were discovered, yielding a large quantity of attractive painted pottery.

Founded in the Hongwu period (1368-1398), Qutan Si is a well-preserved architectural gem near Liuwan. It houses a number of exquisite Ming dynasty (1368-1644) Buddhist statues. Its wall paintings vividly depict the life of the Buddha Sakyamuni.

Ta’er Si and Labuleng Si are the greatest monasteries in Qinghai and Gansu for training Lama monks. Both have important collections of Tibetan Buddhist tangkas and sculptural works made of various materials.

The focal spots to be visited in Southern Gansu are the earliest Buddhist sites in China. They are the cave temples at Maijisan, Wushan and Binglingsi. Their history can be traced back to the late 4th century. The colourful stucco figures in these caves are of exceptional historic value for the study of Chinese Buddhist culture.

Conducted in Cantonese, this tour will be lead by our own Museum Director, Yeung Chun-tong (???). He is a graduate of the University of Hong Kong with B.A. and M.Phil. Degrees, both in Fine Arts. He is currently Honorary Associate Professor, teaching Chinese material cultures and museum studies in the Department. With over 30 years of experience and an in-depth knowledge of Chinese art and history, Director Yeung is an invaluable resource for our visit to the sites in this part of the Silk Road.

Liu Guosong’s Experimental Chinese Painting Exhibition

Liu Guosong is a renowned pioneer of modern experimental Chinese ink painting. Born in Anhui, China in1932, he moved to Taiwan in 1949, and has also lived in Hong Kong for a period of time since 1971.

Liu was trained in both Western and Chinese traditional techniques. Imbued with the spirit to invent new ways to complement ink and colour on different types of paper, he founded the Fifth Moon Group of new Chinese painting in Taiwan. Highly acclaimed internationally, Liu has participated in many exhibitions and conferences worldwide. In 2004, he was invited to stage a retrospective of his works at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. He is also the Honorary President of the Modern Ink Painting Society in Hong Kong.

We are privileged to have a private tour with Liu to preview his exhibition just hours before the opening ceremony. It will be a unique opportunity to hear him talk about his insights and experimentations.

To add frosting to the cake, we have arranged a demonstration of modern ink painting techniques by three of Liu’s former students – Eddy Chan Kwan Lap, Chan Shing-kau and Anita Lau Kam Chi – who are prize-winning artists that have exhibited and published extensively.

Eddy Chan Kwan Lap is an international prize-winning MFA artist. He will be demonstrating his special techniques using crumbled paper and cardboard to produce metaphors of brushstrokes beyond brushstrokes, a signature of his mystically surrealistic paintings.

Chan Shing-kau is the Ex-Chairman of the Hong Kong Modern Ink Painting Society, an organization for cutting-edge experimental ink artists. He will show us his techniques using plastic sheets, detergents and spray bottles to produce textures that resemble different forms of nature, including snow scenes.

Anita Lau Kam Chi is famous for her unparalleled marbling technique ?teasing ink and water, in a fascinating controlled and yet uncontrolled manner – to create her highly popular and distinguished style of artworks which are found not only on paper but also on silk and cloth.

Pre-trip Talk – Chinese Culture in Qinghai and Gansu

In conjunction with our September trip to Qinghai and Gansu, our resource person, Yeung Chun-tong (楊春棠), Director of the University Museum and Art Gallery will give a presentation and talk to share with us some of the highlights of the trip as well as some historical background of the places to be visited.

In ancient times, Qinghai and Gansu were on the Silk Road linking Eurasia and China. Both of these provinces have developed a mixture of cultures that are clearly reflected in their Buddhist art, as found in cave temples and Lamaseries.

Director Yeung will introduce the pottery finds from a Neolithic site in Qinghai and compare them with similar discoveries in other parts of Mainland China. The wall paintings and stucco sculptures in Gansu cave temples will also be highlighted to illustrate the Buddhist influence on the development of Chinese art and culture.

Do join us for an informative and enlightening evening talk on a part of China that is culturally diverse and fascinating.

在中國歷史上,青海和甘肅於絲綢之路未開拓前,是不受重視的地方。本講座將介紹這兩個省份的早期歷史,內容包括漢人文化和當地少數民族的融和,以及自漢代開始外地文化的傳入所帶來的影響。

本講座以青海甘肅兩地彩陶的發現,追溯新石器時代的歷史,並且利用甘肅石窟的壁畫和彩,說明當地在中國佛教史上的重要地位,同時帶出佛教思想和藝術與中國文化發展的密切關係。

The Art of English High Tea with Wendy Siu

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” — Henry James

To understand the art of English high tea, Wendy Siu, Founder and President of Heather and March will host an English high tea workshop for our members at her shop. She will talk about the history and tradition of English high tea, including proper service of savories and sweets, tea varieties, the art of table setting, and proper etiquette. You will be delighted to discover many interesting facts and details of what English high tea is about.

Following the talk, there will be an optional English afternoon tea to appreciate, savor, and put to practice the insights offered by our knowledgeable speaker. So, come and enjoy an afternoon that will take you back to the historical and elegant Victorian times.

The speaker
Wendy Siu is the Founder and President of Heather & March, a luxury tableware and home accessories store that has been uniquely instrumental in integrating gastronomic knowledge with table settings. Honored by former French President Jacques Chirac with a lifetime national knighthood medal in 2005, the second highest civilian honor of “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merite” in France and the ninth person since 1962 to receive this honor in Hong Kong, she has shared her expertise on topics of entertaining etiquette, interior design, home decoration, and the art of living and culinary cooking through workshops, talks and event decorations at many major five star hotels and residences of Consul-Generals, including the Consul-Generals of France and U.S.A. She was also a guest lecturer for the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Hong Kong on the topic of “How to Create a Successful Business Vision”.

Traditions and Tensions – The Rise of Mondernism in India with Sundaram Tagore

Lecture synopsis
This lecture explores the multiple facets of Indian modernism. The narrative begins with the question: If modernism, in the Western context, is defined as a rejection of tradition, just how does a 5,000-year-old traditional culture such as India manage to make modern art? It somehow unfolds to us in a more tangled and complex manner, influenced by factors such as urbanism, primitivism and neologism. Unlike their counterparts in the West, Indian artists made modern art not by shocking and rejecting, but by assimilating elements from innumerable artistic traditions.

Modernism first took root on the Indian subcontinent with the establishment of colonial art colleges that followed the curriculum of the Royal College of Arts in London. The introduction of Western ideas generated great debate and conflict. Hence a group of Asian and European intellectuals, including Englishman Ernst Binfield, Japanese curator Okakuro Kakuzo and Chinese artist Xu Beihong, created the Pan-Asian alliance to counteract the pervasive influence of Western academic naturalism promoted by the government colleges. The movement swept through India and spread to other Asian countries as well, resulting in an international aesthetic and ideology. Thus began the story of Indian modernism.

The speaker
Sundaram Tagore is a New York-based art historian and gallerist. A descendant of the influential poet and Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore, he promotes East-West dialogues in multicultural and multidisciplinary events globally. He has worked with many international organizations including The Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, Venice, Italy; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; United Nations; Pace Wildenstein Gallery. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate of Oxford University, and he writes for numerous art publications. In 1999, he was nominated by Avenue magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Asian Americans in the United States. Recently, he was profiled in a 30-minute special interview with CNN International’s Talk Asia.

Dr. Jing Tsu on Lin Yutang, his Chinese-Language Typewriter and the Global Importance of Chinese Language

Language is very much like art. They both are tools to render human thoughts and feelings into tangible forms. At the same time, language is also a form of currency, standardized for exchange and communication among diverse groups of people. What happens when both the aesthetic and practical sides of language are jointly expressed in technology?

The HKU Museum Society takes pleasure in presenting a lecture by literary scholar and cultural historian Dr. Jing Tsu (石靜遠), Assistant Professor at Yale University. Dr. Tsu received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard in 2008-2009. She has researched and written extensively on a century's transformation of the sound and script of the Chinese language.

In 1946, Lin Yutang (???) filed an application with the U.S. Patent Office for his Chinese-language typewriter. The design, which had taken him fifty years to conceive and to build, marks a little known history in the struggle for global dominance between the Chinese and English languages in the area of international communication, a rivalry that continues to the present. In this lecture, Dr. Tsu will be discussing this much neglected chapter of Lin Yutang's biography and how it adds an important dimension to our understanding of his significance as one of China's most successful bilingual writers in the English-speaking world.

Dr. Tsu has published many articles, book chapters and reviews on modern Chinese literature, nationalism, and diaspora. She is the recipient of numerous academic awards and international honors. Her book "Failure, Nationalism and Literature: The Making of Modern Chinese Identity 1895-1937" was published by Stanford University Press in 2005. She is currently completing her second book manuscript, "Sound and Script in Chinese Diaspora," which is under contract with Harvard University Press.

Stephen Hui Geological Museum & Lunch at HKU Senior Common Room

Tucked in one of the buildings inside the HKU campus, the newest museum to open in Hong Kong early this year is the Stephen Hui Geological Museum. The museum owes its existence to the generous donation and continuous support of the family of the late Dr. Stephen Hui, mining engineer, geologist, scholar and philanthropist.

The exhibits are some of the oldest artifacts from planet earth. Instead of seeing man-made art, we will see some of the most spectacular works of art by Mother Nature! The museum occupies two floors with galleries that are arranged thematically. It also contains a small theater classroom for ԍagic PlanetԠdemonstration and lectures.

We will be guided by Dr. Petra Bach, Curator of the Geological Museum, BA & MA from Johannes Gutenberg University, Germany; PhD from HKU. She has done diverse fieldwork in Finland, Egypt and China. In addition, Sylvia Kwok, the daughter of the late Dr. Stephen Hui and an educator and member of our Society, will speak to us about her fatherӳ lifetime passion in geology.

Following the tour, we will walk over to the Universityӳ Senior Common Room, an exclusive dining venue for senior faculty and staff for our lunch.

Come and enjoy the new museum on University campus.

Koo Mei’s Landscape Painting

This special tour and demonstration was conducted by visiting artist Koo Mei in conjunction with her solo exhibition at UMAG. Willing a brush in her hands, clouds and mists magically appeared with mountains and trees in front of our very eyes. Koo Mei was willing to share her insights on art and life with the participants through answering questions and casual conversations. A delicious meal with the artist at a private club afterward.