Koon Wai Bong

1974, Hong Kong


Koon Wai Bong has developed new expressions and techniques in ink painting through his unique compositional and pictorial strategies. As we see in Rhino Rock (2021), Koon divides the composition into a series of individual panels. His intention is to guide our eyes through each scene frame by frame—a reference to the contemporary viewing experience of mobile phones and tablets—thereby encouraging us to slowly rediscover visions of the past with fresh eyes. Throughout his work, however, he never eschews delicate, disciplined brushwork, reflecting his years of training and study of master painters of the past.

In Stonehenge (2021), Koon uses the rock as a vector for political expression. The image depicts the bricks known as the “mini-Stonehenges” used as roadblocks during the recent Hong Kong protests. According to the artist, though the assemblages were formed on the streets, they meet the aesthetic criteria for appreciating rocks. The accompanying inscription weaves the history of the Stonehenge monument with the events that unfolded across the city.

Koon Wai Bong received his BA, MFA degrees from the Fine Arts department of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and his PhD from RMIT University. He is an Associate Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University where he teaches ink painting. His works are in the collections of M+, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Oxford University’s Ashmolean Museum, among others.

POP ROCK in 2021 is Alisan Fine Arts’ first time working with the artist.