Where’s Grandpa Ofu?

Finding more clues at Hong Kong Art Gallery on 2/F

About Modern and Hong Kong Art:

Once derided as a barren rock, it took Hong Kong just over a century to develop from a simple fishing port into an international trade centre hustling and bustling with activity. The vast majority of the population of Chinese living with the small but significant proportion of residents from other countries makes for a colourful mix of East and West, and while life in the territory remains firmly rooted in Chinese traditions, Western trends have always represented an attraction. An exhilarating pluralistic society of a wonderfully diverse cultural character. Hong Kong artists are not unaffected by this heady brew: constantly searching for their Chinese roots while absorbing the exciting new spirit of the times, they aim at innovation and change and are today shaping a unique art that is redolent of a global vision yet steeped in local colour.


Spanning just over 100 years, the history of Hong Kong art experienced its first flowering in the 1920s and 1930s. Famous artists from the mainland settled in Hong Kong or frequently came to the territory to exchange information and opinions, while a number of art societies sprang up in quick succession. Artists who studied abroad returned to Hong Kong and brought with them the popular trends in Western art, enriching the perspectives of artistic development of Hong Kong.


After 1949, mainland masters emigrated to Hong Kong and they revitalized the art of traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy in the territory. Modern Hong Kong art flourished in the 1950s and 1960s. With the influx of modernism, the winds of innovation swept powerfully through cultural circles. Artists of the New Ink Painting Movement attempted to introduce new ideas and techniques into traditional ink painting to enrich its means of expression. At the same time, another group of artists used Western media to convey the essence of Chinese culture, creating a distinctive style by fusing the traditions of Orient and Occident.


Since the 1970s, artists who were born and raised in Hong Kong during the post-war period also introducing local culture that is close to the contemporary spirit for the art world and forming a cross-media art development. They are all devoted to exploring their own identity and artistic possibilities, making this period the key to Hong Kong people's establishment of their own cultural identity.


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