Room 2305, Hing Wai Centre
Flights of Fancy
7 Tin Wan Praya Road
Hong Kong, China
Wednesday, November 20, 2013–Saturday, January 11, 2014
Landscapes by TC Lai
20 November - 11 January 2014
Opening cocktail 23 Nov 2013, Saturday, 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Professor TC Lai will be present at the opening cocktail on 23 November, Saturday, and will
be available for interviews on that day as well as by appointment on other days.
As part of the first ever Hong Kong Art Gallery Week organized by the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association, Alisan Fine Arts is honoured to present Professor TC Lai's forth solo exhibition with the gallery. Born in 1921 to a family of scholars, Lai is a renowned Hong Kong artist and scholar. Like true scholars before him, he has mastered poetry, calligraphy and painting, known as the "Three Perfections" in Chinese culture. He has published more than 35 books on Chinese culture and art, including Chinese Calligraphy, Chinese Seals (University of Washington Press 1975, 1976) and Chinese Painting (Oxford University Press 1992). Considering his background as a classical Chinese scholar steeped in Western culture, it is only natural that he has incorporated elements of both to make his art uniquely his. At the ripe age of 92, Lai's works continue to exude vitality and exuberance.
About the exhibition
In this exhibition, we will be presenting 15 landscape paintings in Chinese ink & gouache on silk painted from 1994-2006. These works reflect his impressions of Hong Kong and Mainland China. They blend Chinese and Western images, old and contemporary, real and fictitious scenes resulting in beautiful surreal paintings. One can see this in "Hong Kong Panorama 2006" where Lai depicts the interior of an Oriental home. In this home, a fragment of Matisse's famous painting as well as works from famous traditional Chinese calligraphy, poems and paintings adorn the wall; a traditional Chinese stool and a circular lattice window complete the view. All this is juxtaposed against a modern day scene of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour in the background.
The freshness of his approach, his bright clear palette, the humour and loving touches of his pictorial homage to Hong Kong all contribute to what has been hailed as a rare but successful welding of traditional Chinese aesthetics with western values. Other landscape paintings include familiar Hong Kong scenes such as Lion Rock, Botanical Garden and the Shatin racecourse.
About the artist
Professor TC Lai, JP, was born in Hong Kong in 1921. He studied at The University of Hong Kong and the University of Manchester in the UK in the 1940s. After working in the Chinese Cultural Affairs in London between 1946-49, Lai returned to Hong Kong in 1954 and became a tutor in the English Department of Hong Kong University until 1958. He became the Director of Extramural Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1965. He was also the president of the Hong Kong Translation Society and an adviser to the Hong Kong Museum of Art in the 1970s. After retiring from teaching in 1984, Professor Lai started painting professionally. Currently, he is honorary advisor of the Hong Kong Translation Society.
Alisan Fine Arts organized solo exhibitions for him in 1994, 1997 and 2002. He also had a solo exhibition at the University of Hong Kong's University Museum and Art Gallery in 1999. His works are collected by Peabody Essex Museum, USA, Hong Kong Museum of Art, University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong, and Art Museum, Chinese University of Hong Kong.