The Hong Kong Jockey Club Presents Song of Spring: Pan Yu-Lin in Paris


The Hong Kong Jockey Club Presents - Song of Spring: Pan Yu-Lin in Paris is the first major presentation of Pan Yu-Lin (1895-1977) in Hong Kong and the second instalment in the 20th Century Chinese Female Artist Series. Born of humble origins, Pan came of age during the revolutionary May Fourth era and seized the chance to be one of the first Chinese students to study fine arts in France. Unlike most of her compatriots who built their artistic careers at home, Pan developed her unique style in the competitive Parisian art world from the 1930s until her death. With over sixty works of portraiture, nude, landscape, dance figure painting, and sculpture, this exhibition explores Pan’s second period in Paris, highlighting her artistic range and distinguished style that combines eastern and western sensibilities. This exhibition is guest curated by Eric Lefebvre, with Joyce Hei-ting Wong as assistant curator.

Visitors are welcome to share their experience on social media by tagging us #ASHKPanyulin, #ASHKPanyuliang, #SongofSpring, #PanyulininParis, or #20CenturyChineseFemaleArtists


Please visit the exhibition's minisite for more information.

Important note:  Nudity is depicted in this exhibition and parental guidance is recommended for younger viewers.

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About the Series

20th Century Chinese Female Artist Series

Female empowerment and equality in modern societies have been much debated topics 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.  Moreover, the social value of art and aesthetic education, institutionalized as part of a modern education program, along with co-education, placed high expectations on female artists as symbols of China’s modernity.  However, in scholastic studies and exhibitions, 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 launched its 20th Century Chinese Female Artist Exhibition Series (“the Series”) in 2017 to reclaim the story of female artists.  The first of its kind in Hong Kong, the Series provides local Hong Kong audiences with important examples of their artistic accomplishments, and hopes to honor the female artists with the public recognition they deserve for their contribution to the making of modern China. 

The current exhibition, Song of Spring: Pan Yu-Lin in Paris, is the second in the Series. Exclusively sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, it is the first solo presentation in Hong Kong of the treasured works by the exemplary Chinese painter Pan Yu-Lin (aka Pan Yuliang, 1895-1977).

From a wider community context, the Series fits into the discourse on female empowerment and equality in Hong Kong today, where research indicates that women continue to face challenges in male-dominated industries as well as gender stereotypes in the media and the workplace.  A series of education programs entitled Jockey Club Art Education and Female Empowerment Series will be offered to children, students, families, and the general public, through which 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.

More information on the first exhibition in the Series and the related education programs are available here. 

About the Exhibition

Song of Spring: Pan Yu-Lin in Paris is presented exclusively by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, and represents the second installment in Asia Society Hong Kong Center’s 20th Century Chinese Female Artist Series. Belonging to the first generation of Chinese students to study fine arts in France, Pan Yu-Lin (aka Pan Yuliang, 1895-1977) was a pioneer in modernizing Chinese art with western painting at a time when it was rare for women to achieve independent careers as professional artists.  Pan was distinguished for her individual style that synthesized eastern and western sensibilities as well as her academic contributions as one of the first female art professors in modern China.  Unlike most of her compatriots who built their careers back home after overseas education, Pan came to live and develop her individual style in the competitive Parisian art world until her death. 

This exhibition explores Pan’s unique trajectory and significance to modern Chinese art history by focusing on her second period in France, with over sixty works across four chambers dedicated to the themes of portraiture, nudes, cityscape and landscape, and dance figure painting, alongside archival materials and videos that delve into a comprehensive look at the art world of Pan Yu-Lin.

Exhibition Period

September 12, 2018 – January 6, 2019

Admission: Free


Chantal Miller Gallery

Asia Society Hong Kong Center

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Former Explosives Magazine

9 Justice Drive Admiralty, Hong Kong

Opening Hours:

Tuesday - Sunday: 11am - 6pm

Last Thursday of every month: 11am - 8pm

Last admission:  30 minutes before closing

Closed on Mondays, Christmas Days and New Years Day

About the Artist

Pan Yu-Lin (aka Pan Yuliang, 1895-1977) belonged to the first generation of Chinese students to study fine arts in France. She was a pioneer in modernizing Chinese art with western painting at a time when it was rare for women to achieve independent careers as professional artists.

She studied in Europe for nearly eight years between Lyon, Paris, and Rome. At the National School of Fine Arts in Paris, Pan was the first Asian student to win a scholarship to study at Accademia del Belle Arti di Roma, where she studied sculpture and painting. She returned to China in 1928 and was immediately hired by the Shanghai Art Academy, her alma mater, as the head of western painting — the first woman to assume such a high academic position. She also taught at the Nanjing Central University Fine Art Department from 1931 onwards, and remained as a researcher and tutor at the Shanghai Art Academy’s painting research institute Yiyuan. Throughout her decade in China, she held four solo exhibitions and established various art societies. In 1937, she traveled to Paris again in search for her independent visual language.

Pan Yu-Lin remained in Paris until her death. Throughout her relocation to France, her works were widely exhibited in the salon circuit. Pan was the first Chinese artist to be collected by the City of Paris and followed by the National Museum of Modern Art in 1955. She won numerous awards overseas throughout her career, with her proudest achievement being the 1959 Thorlet award from the University of Paris granted by the municipal government.

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Gallery Guided Tours

Open to public free of charge.  No registration required

Saturdays | 2:30pm (In English) | 3:30pm (In Cantonese)

Sundays | 2:30pm (In English) | 3:30pm (In Cantonese)

Gallery Tour for Schools

The Center provides free docent-led tours of the exhibition to schools. Requests for school visits will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis. To apply the tour, please download the form HERE and email to

Art Competition

“Expressing Self – Inspired by Pan Yu-Lin”

To encourage participation in art creation and promote the appreciation of art, Asia Society Hong Kong Center invites all visitors to give in to their imaginations and engage in a dialogue with Pan Yu-Lin’s work and her world through this open art competition and exhibition.  Winning and selected works will be exhibited in the Chantal Miller Gallery.

Entry Guidelines
Themes of the entry:  Expressing Self – Inspired by Pan Yu-Lin

Pan Yu-Lin’s work is an artistic expression of her feelings and a visual representation of her true self.  She persists in “fusing East and West to become one” in her artistic pursuits.  Throughout her long lifetime, Pan produces over five thousands of artworks, comprising but not limited to oil paintings, ink wash paintings, and drawings.  She mainly projects herself and her feelings into her plenty of portraits and self-portraits.  Through her audacious style and exquisite artworks, Pan also makes us think about the questions of expressing self by art.

Do you think art is conducive to knowing and depicting self?  Does Pan’s work inspire you and give you courage?  Create a drawing or a painting to express your true self, as inspired by Pan.  The art work can be of any themes or styles inspired by Pan Yu-Lin’s art.

Entry categories

A) Children division: Aged 10 or under

B) Youth division: Aged 11 - 17

C) Open division: Aged 18 or above

Format of the entry

•     The art work should be two-dimensional (2D) only.  The non-painted or non-drawn parts should not exceed 20% of the whole work.

•     Framed art work size must be within 100cm x 100 cm.

•     An artist statement (not more than 30 words in either Chinese or English) is required to be submitted with the art work.  The title and materials should be stated in the application form.


Submission Period

September 12, 2018 to 12:00pm (HKT) January 6, 2019

Submission Method

Please go to (google form link) for entry form, artwork digital image(s) and artist statement submission.  Applicants are required to keep the original works for further exhibition.  Finalists will be contacted individually via email by January 11, 2019.

Judging Criteria

All submissions will be judged based on three criteria:

•     Relevance and interpretation of the theme

•     Creativity

•     Technical Merit of the art work


10 finalists will be selected from each division to be exhibited at Asia Society Hong Kong Center’s Chantal Miller Gallery, and receive a Certificate of Excellence. Each division will have First, Second, and Third Prized, and seven Excellence Award winners.  1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners will receive a copy of Song of Spring: Pan Yu-Lin in Paris catalogue, and a book voucher. Excellent Award winners will receive a book voucher.

Award Ceremony and Exhibition Opening:  January 19, 2019
Exhibition Period:  January 19-27, 2019

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