The Hong Kong Jockey Club Presents - A World Within: The Art and Inspiration of Irene Chou | 香港賽馬會呈獻—萬象之根：周綠雲繪畫藝術展
The Hong Kong Jockey Club presents A World Within: The Art and Inspiration of Irene Chou as the third instalment in ASHK’s “20th Century Chinese Female Artist Series.” One of the most inventive artists at the forefront of Hong Kong’s New Ink Art Movement, Irene Chou (1924-2011) had a dynamic career spanning from the 1950s to early 2000s. She was remarkable for paving new possibilities in Chinese ink painting through a highly original abstract visual language, and her exploration of modern themes informed by metaphysics, science, religion and literature, as well as her personal outlook on life. With over forty works, this exhibition traces Chou’s artistic trajectory and considers her historical significance in the first major thematic survey since the artist’s passing.
20th Century Chinese Female Artists 二十世紀中國女藝術家系列
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.
然而，二十世紀中國女性藝術家的出現卻印證了中國社會的進步，同時也為經歷戰爭和災難這複雜歷史背景下的現代添上了新的定義。社會上的女性代表一方面備受爭議，另一方面則為當時大眾傳媒所追捧，這意識形態的力量在今天仍然存在。學術研究和展覽界別的注意力往往集中在現代中國男性藝術家身上， 以一個時代的女藝術家創意成就和影響力為題的展覽極為罕有，更鮮有以女藝術家個人為專題的展覽 。
亞洲協會香港中心二十世紀中國女藝術家系列 (「系列」) 開創先河，為女藝術家故事爭取發光發亮。 透過向香港觀眾展示她們重要的藝術成就，以提升公眾對她們的認知，令她們對中國現代作出的貢獻得以表揚。
Asia Society Hong Kong Center presents A World Within: The Art and Inspiration of Irene Chou as the third installment in its “20th Century Chinese Female Artist Series.” One of the most inventive artists at the forefront of Hong Kong’s New Ink Art Movement, Irene Chou (1924-2011) had a dynamic career spanning from the 1950s to early 2000s. She was remarkable for paving new possibilities in Chinese ink painting through a highly original abstract visual language, and her exploration of modern themes informed by an interest in metaphysics, science and literature, as well as her personal outlook on life. This exhibition traces Chou’s artistic trajectory and considers her historical significance in a thematic survey through the four lenses of “self hood”; “duality”; the motif of “red”; and “world-making in motion.”
September 25, 2019 - January 5, 2020
Opening: September 24, 2019
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
2019年9月24日 – 2020年1月5日
Born and raised in Shanghai during the tumultuous years of the Second Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War, Irene Chou (1924-2011) received bilingual modern education and attended the prestigious Shanghai St. John’s University. Chou worked as a journalist for Peace Daily upon graduation and only began practicing art formally in the 1950s after she moved to Hong Kong. She first studied under the Lingnan School master Zhao Shao’ang, before learning ink painting from Lui Shou Kwan in the 1960s. Under the influence of Lui’s innovative teaching and friendship, Chou developed a highly original abstract visual language informed by modern themes, Western techniques and art movements as well as her unique outlook on life. The artist suffered a stroke in 1991 that nearly ended her career, however, she was able to recover mobility through her qigong practice. Irene Chou’s artistic trajectory is marked by many distinct phases, and her painting was rejuvenated with new life and virtuosity after her stroke and relocation to Australia.
The artist’s achievements are recognized by her numerous awards, such as the Pacificulture Asia Museum Fine Art Award in 1972, Hong Kong Urban Council Award in 1983 and Hong Kong Artist of the Year Award in 1988. Chou was also widely exhibited internationally, consecutively included in the London Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition in the 1970s, and was chosen to represent Hong Kong in the First Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art held at the Queensland Art Gallery in 1993. Her art contributes an important chapter in the New Ink Art Movement, not only highlighting the significance of a female voice in making traditional Chinese painting speak to a modern world, but also the power of art to heal and reinvent the human spirit.
A bilingual exhibition catalogue, A World Within: The Art and Inspiration of Irene Chou, will be published on the occasion of Asia Society Hong Kong Center’s eponymous exhibition on view from September 25, 2019 to January 5, 2020. The catalogue will celebrate Chou as one of the most inventive artists at the forefront of Hong Kong’s New Ink Painting Movement, with her dynamic career spanning from the 1950s to early 2000s. She was remarkable for paving new possibilities in Chinese ink painting through a highly original abstract visual language, and her exploration of modern themes informed by an interest in metaphysics, science and literature. The catalogue includes all the exhibited artworks and texts, as well as three essays by Joyce Hei-ting Wong (exhibition curator), Dr. Eva Man Kit Wah (Director and Chair Professor of the Academy of Film, Baptist University of Hong Kong), and André Chan (Independent Curator and Writer) that provide new scholarship and insight on the life and artistic development of Irene Chou. The 120+page hardcover catalogue is bilingual and includes over sixty colour illustrations of artworks and archival photographs.
Catalogue Retail price: Pre-order price for HK$200/catalogue (if ordered before September 24, 2019), HK$350 after September 24, 2019.
Size: H290 x W210mm
Number of pages: 180 (approx.)
Price: $200/catalogue (pre-order, before September 24, 2019), $350/catalogue (After September 24, 2019)
Publisher: Asia Society Hong Kong Center
Designer: Trilingua Design