Recognised as a trailblazing modernist of ink painting in Hong Kong, Wucius Wong presents his first solo gallery exhibition at Sotheby’s Hong Kong after nearly a decade. He is revered for his masterful synthesis of traditional Chinese aesthetics with western culture and contemporary design.
Featuring over 30 works spanning six decades of his career, the exhibition depicts water in its varying forms and a style which encapsulates landscape and geometric motifs. All works are arranged thematically by the artist and attributed to the qualities of water: movement, tranquility, confluence, diversion and transformation. The Value interviewed Mr. Wong about his views on Contemporary Ink Art.
''Eternal Water: Wucius Wong''
Public exhibition: 2017/10/18 - 10/30
Monday to Friday｜10am - 6pm
Saturday｜11am - 5pm
(Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays)
Venue: Sotheby’s Hong kong Gallery
Address: 5/F, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
Enquiries: +852 28225566
Q: What does ink painting mean to you?
W: Ink is the main medium of traditional Chinese paintings. Therefore I chose ink paintings when I first started as an artist. I still keep using ink in my works because when I use ink as a medium, I feel that each stroke is unique. Each stroke shows different feelings and embodies an exploration of worldview. Most of my paintings are landscape paintings. China had been an agricultural society for over 2000 years. There are some changes on the established civilization. No matter how much it has changed, the Chinese civilization is still our main origin.
Q: Why did you give yourself a pseudonym connoting “innocent” in Chinese?
W: When I was young, I had a strong interest in literature. I had thought of being a poet. I wrote some contemporary poems and published them on newspapers and magazines. During the late 50s and early 60s, I was an active member in the literary world in Hong Kong. “Wucius” (meaning “innocent” in Chinese) has been my pseudonym since then. It was inspired by a quote from “the Analects of Confucius”, “In the Book of Poetry are three hundred pieces, but the design of them all may be embraced in one sentence - 'Having no depraved thoughts.'"
Q: Why did you decide to hold your first solo gallery exhibition after nearly a decade?
W: I am not a prolific painter so I mostly participate in joint exhibitions. Hong Kong Museum of Art once held a solo exhibition for me. It was in 2007. I seldom hold any sole exhibitions after that exhibition.
W (continue): I don’t have to rely on selling my works to make a living so I am not particularly interested in any commercial exhibitions. I held an exhibition in Hong Kong Polytechnic University last year. Sotheby’s developed an interest in my works from that exhibition. Knowing that I seldom hold my own commercial exhibition, they arrange this one for me.I think here is an appropriate venue to hold a relatively large scale, solo exhibition. I therefore chose paintings of water to be the theme of this exhibition