The Hong Kong Jockey Club Presents — Painting Her Way: The Ink Art of Fang Zhaoling
The Hong Kong Jockey Club presents Painting Her Way: The Ink Art of Fang Zhaoling with a selection of paintings and calligraphy by the distinguished female artist Fang Zhaoling (1914-2006). After having received both the Western-style education newly available to a modern woman and the master-disciple training of a traditional Chinese painter, Fang developed a personal style of remarkable originality. Her sustained artistic achievements and contributions to modern Chinese culture also shed light on women’s changing roles in the twentieth century. The exhibition, part of Asia Society Hong Kong Center’s 20th Century Chinese Female Artist Series, is guest curated by Kuiyi Shen and Julia F. Andrews, with Joyce Hei-ting Wong as assistant curator.
20th Century Chinese Female Artists
Female empowerment and equality in modern societies have been a much debated topic dating back over a century. While the diverse achievements of female talents across different fields have gained better light in recent years, female artists remain an under-represented and under-appreciated segment in Western societies and even more so across Chinese communities.
Yet the emergence of female artists in 20th century China was a testament to both the country’s social progress and the various redefinitions of modernity that were adopted in a historical context complicated by wars and disasters. Female agency in society was among the issues argued and promoted in the mass media of the time and retains lasting ideological power today. In scholastic studies and exhibitions, however, attention has been focused on modern Chinese male artists. Exhibitions featuring the creative attainments and influences of their female counterparts from the period are few and far between, and rarely in monographic presentations.
Asia Society Hong Kong Center’s 20th Century Chinese Female Artists Exhibition Series (“the Series”), the first of its kind in Hong Kong, aims to reclaim the story of female artists. By providing local Hong Kong audiences with important examples of their artistic accomplishments, we hope to honor them with the public recognition they deserve for their contribution to the making of modern China.
From a wider community context, the Series fits into the discourse on female empowerment and equality in today’s Hong Kong, where research indicates that women continue to face challenges in male-dominated industries as well as gender stereotypes in the media and the workplace. Through education programs for children, students, families, and the general public, we will highlight achievements of women in various industries while connecting to the lives and careers of the unique female artists presented in the Series.
The first exhibition in the Series focuses on the life and works of Fang Zhaoling, and is made possible by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.
Painting Her Way: The Ink Art of Fang Zhaoling is presented exclusively by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The exhibition features a selection of paintings and calligraphy by the distinguished female artist Fang Zhaoling (1914-2006).
Fang was one of the most innovative Chinese painters to emerge in the last decades of the 20th century. Her work is original, distinctive and powerful. She was among the first female generation in China to benefit from Greater educational opportunities and female artists like her who fully realized their careers were relatively few.
Beyond biography and artistic development, the exhibition also considers ink painting and how Fang, as a diasporic artist, played a particularly significant role in its revival after chaotic reforms in the mid-century. It addresses the period of development between traditional ink art of the past and its new direction, showcasing Fang as a bridge between two generations.
September 27 – December 31, 2017
Chantal Miller Gallery
Asia Society Hong Kong Center
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Former Explosives Magazine
9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Tuesday - Sunday: 11 am — 6 pm
Last Thursday of Every Month: 11 am — 8 pm
Closed on Mondays
Fang Zhaoling (1914-2006) was born in Wuxi, Jiangsu, China. She was one of the most innovative Chinese painters to emerge in the last decades of the twentieth century. In her artistic passage from childhood to adult, she studied with three of China’s leading painters, Qian Songyan, Zhao Shaoang, and Zhang Daqian, achieving technical mastery of the medium as practiced in three very different ways. Her master-disciple patterns of training in Chinese painting intersected with the modern Western style education she received at The University of Manchester, The University of Hong Kong, and Oxford University. During her lifetime she exhibited widely in Japan, Europe, and the United States as well as elsewhere in Asia, but it is only with the distance of time that the path-breaking nature of her art and career have become most evident.
In 1951 Fang Zhaoling exhibited with her tutor, Zhao Shaoang at the first Chinese art show in Japan since the war. She then exhibited in various group and solo exhibitions including the Musee d’Orsay in 1953, Oxford University in 1957, the Royal Academy Summer Show in 1967, Hong Kong Museum of Art in 1978, Shanghai Art Museum in 1983. She was at the same time remarkable in her perseverance, her unwavering lifelong pursuit of her art, and her ultimate artistic success. In this, she was a model example of the “new woman” so much debated by theorists of the early twentieth century, a woman who through education and travel achieved self-realization that enabled her to contribute to world culture at the highest level.
Open to public (free of charge). No registration required
Saturdays | 2:30pm (English) | 3:30pm (Cantonese)
Sundays | 2:30pm (English) | 3:30pm (Cantonese)
Last Thursday of Every Month | 7:00pm (English)
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the English tour on December 17 is canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.