Hung Fai

1988, Hong Kong


The son of the noted ink painter Hung Hoi (b. 1957), the young Hung grew up surrounded by ink, brushes and his father’s traditional landscape paintings. However, at an early age, he was determined to forge a creative language independent of his father’s. Using the ink pen as his mode of expression, Hung has developed his own visual idiom, whereby he deconstructs the three elements in Chinese painting—paper, water and ink—and then conceptually manipulates and reconstructs them.

The Six Principles of Chinese Painting—Transmission 20 (2020) challenges the sixth principle of “transmission” (learning through copying and imitating), as laid down by sixth-century art historian Xie He in his treatise “Six Principles of Chinese Painting.” Hung first invited his father to paint a rock in cinnabar red—a colour symbolic of authority and rarely used in Chinese painting—on a folded sheet of paper. He then saturated the paper with water, and traced the contours with an ink pen. The result, upon unfolding the sheet, is a kaleidoscopic image no longer bearing resemblance to the original rock. Hung has deconstructed and transformed his father’s original rock. As the red and black ink seep through the paper, Hung draws our attention to the dynamics between master and apprentice, father and son, past and present.

A graduate of the Fine Arts department of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hung Fai’s works are collected by M+ and the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

POP ROCK in 2021 is Alisan Fine Arts’ first time working with the artist. We have also included his works at our booth Past & Present Landscapes, Art Basel Hong Kong, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre in 2022.