Hong Kong Arts Centre presents The Art of Luis Chan from December 10, 2022 to January 18, 2023.
Luis Chan (1905-1995) is largely considered as Hong Kong’s modern art pioneer. At the start of his creative career, Chan was noted for his exquisitely drawn realistic landscape paintings in watercolour, earning him the title “King of Watercolour.”
Chan’s works were mainly colorful and inventive, expressing surreal situations with playfulness. Chan’s particular artistic style spanned many forms of art and culture. Chan’s creations are complemented with an equally vivacious personality.
This flagship exhibition, which coincides with the Hong Kong Arts Centre’s 45th anniversary, explores Chan’s art and legacy in a thematic survey that highlights the artist’s perceptive portrayal of daily urban drama and identity, his love of narrative and storytelling, and his uplifting spirit throughout the turbulent twentieth century.
This exhibition is divided into four chapters: “The Artist and the Critic,” “Hong Kong Through the Looking Glass,” “Luis in Artland,” and “Vision is a Many-Splendored Thing,” and it features Chan’s paintings from the 1950s to the 1980s, where different visual expressions can be discovered in various stages of creation. The exhibition showcases Chan’s kaleidoscopic creative journey, exposing visitors to the fantasy stage of Luis Chan.
This show offers the chance to supplement existing study on the artist with fresh archive materials and a long-overdue institutional monograph after the artist’s death.
Luis Chan Studio
In May 2022, the Hong Kong Arts Centre inaugurated the 5-year project Luis Chan Studio, which showcased his living surroundings and the setting when he was still alive and drawing, allowing the audience to acquire an in-depth understanding of Luis Chan’s masterpieces and his artistic universe.
Luis Chan, commonly known as the “King of Watercolor,” is a local legend and an important figure in Hong Kong art history. He formerly lived in a home studio on Lockhart Road in Wan Chai, where he drew countless paintings. His inspiration came from the Wan Chai streetscape and neighboring establishments. His pieces are historical relics with a strong regional flavor. Taking inspiration from Luis Chan’s home studio on Lockhart Road in Wan Chai, Luis Chan Studio features furniture, paintings, and books relocated from his studio. Through the glass pane, visitors can see Chan’s previous creative space. Visitors can learn more about Chan’s characteristics by deciphering the significance behind some of the displayed things. The Studio hopes to present the public with an alternative visual experience as well as a deeper understanding of Chan’s life. More historical images and written records about Chan are displayed to take the audience through his artistic journey and stylistic growth, reflecting on significant traces of Hong Kong art history.
About Luis Chan Studio
Date: On view until May 2027
Venue: 4/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Initiated and empowered by Ms Cissy Pao. Supported by Luis Trust.
Presenter: Hong Kong Arts Centre
Guest Curator: Joyce Wong Hei-ting