Lai TC

1921, Hong Kong

Introduction

TC Lai was born in 1921 in Hong Kong to a family of scholars. During the 1940s, he studied at the University of Hong Kong and the University of Manchester before working for four years in London in jobs related to Chinese cultural affairs. In 1954, Lai returned to Hong Kong and became a tutor in the English Department at the University of Hong Kong, remaining until 1958. He was appointed Director of Extra Mural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1965. During the 1970s, he was the president of the Hong Kong Translation Society and an adviser to the Hong Kong Museum of Art. He has published more than thirty-five books on Chinese culture and art, including Chinese Painting (Oxford University Press), Calligraphy (University of Washington Press), and Chinese Seals (University of Washington Press). He retired from teaching in 1984 and began devoting his time to painting. He is currently an honorary advisor to the Hong Kong Translation Society. As a classical Chinese scholar steeped in Western culture, he has incorporated elements of both to make his art uniquely his. Lai typically positions viewers from various vantage points in which to enter the pictorial frame, a hallmark of traditional Chinese painting. He is particularly known for his landscape paintings of Hong Kong, including scenes of Victoria Harbour, Lion Rock, the Botanical Garden, and Shatin racecourse.

Alisan Fine Arts began representing Lai in 1992 and since then has held four solo exhibitions for the artist, most recently in 2013. He has also held solo exhibitions at the University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Central Library, and Hong Kong City Hall. His works have been collected by the Peabody Essex Museum, United States; Hong Kong Museum of Art; University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong; the Chinese University of Hong Kong to name a few.

BIOGRAPHY
1921    Born in Hong Kong to a family of scholars
1940s    MA, the University of Hong Kong and Dip Ad Ed, University of Manchester, England
1946-49    Worked for four years in jobs related to Chinese cultural affairs, London, England
1954-58    Returned to Hong Kong and became a tutor in the English Department, University of HongKong
1965    Director of Extramural Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong
1970s    President of Hong Kong Translation Society
Adviser to the Hong Kong Museum of Art
President of Rotary Club of Hong Kong Island West
1975    Published the book Chinese Calligraphy, an introduction, University of Washington Press, Seattle, United States & London, England
1976    Published the book Chinese Seals, University of Washington Press, Seattle, United States & London, England
1977    Published the book Chinese Motifs in Modern Art, Kelly & Walsh Ltd, Hong Kong
1984    Retired from Chinese University of Hong Kong and started painting professionally
1980s    Published more than 35 books on Chinese culture
1992    Published the book Chinese Painting, Oxford University Press, New York, United States
1994    Published the catalogue Hong Kong, A Pictorial Homage, Hong Kong Book Centre, Hong Kong
1997    Published the catalogue Hong Kong Rhapsody, The Art of TC Lai, Hong Kong BookCentre, Hong Kong
1999    Published the catalogue Dreamscapes, The Art of TC Lai, University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2005    Published the catalogue Paintings and Calligraphy Works of TC Lai, Hong Kong Translation Society, Hong Kong
2010    Painting entitled “Panorama Hong Kong” selected by Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children for a greeting card

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS 
2013   

2011   

  • Chinese Calligraphy and Paintings by TC Lai, City Hall, Hong Kong

2005   

  • Paintings and Calligraphy Works of TC Lai, Hong Kong Translation Society Charity Exhibition, Hong Kong Central Library, Hong Kong

2003   

  • Calligraphy of TC Lai, Grotto Fine Art, Hong Kong

2002   

  • Brave New City: The Hong Kong of TC Lai, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

1999   

  • Dreamscapes: The Art of TC Lai, University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

1997   

  • Wonders of Hong Kong, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

1994   

  • Hong Kong: A Pictorial Homage, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2017   

2016   

2009   

1997   

 

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Peabody Essex Museum, MA, United States
Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong
University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong
Art Museum, Chinese University of Hong Kong

 

PUBLICATIONS
He has published more than 35 books on Chinese culture including, Chinese Painting (Oxford University Press 1992), Chinese Calligraphy (University of Washington Press 1975), and Chinese Seals (University of Washington Press 1976). 

Three Contemporary Chinese Painters
Kwelin: China’s Most Scenic Spot
Ch’i Pai Shih, painter, 1863-1957
More Chinese Sayings
The Eight Immortals
A Scholar in Imperial China
Mountain Love Songs
Romance of the Western Chamber
Noble Fragrance: Chinese Flowers & Trees
Chinese Decorated Letter-paper
Visiting China: A Cultural Guide
Rhapsodic Essays from the Chinese
Understanding Chinese Painting
Chinese Characters
At the Chinese Table
A Chinese Book of Friendship
T’ang Ying (poet-painter)1470-1524
Chinese Couplets
Things Chinese
Selected Chinese Sayings
Chinese Proverbs
Pa Ta Shan Jen, Monk-Painter (1625-c.1705)
Chinese Poetry
Treasures of a Chinese Studio
Hong Kong: Images on Shifting Waters
The Young Cowherd & Other Poems
Chinese Food for Thought
A Wild Swan’s Trail
Animals of the Chinese Zodiac
Huang Bin Hong 1864-1955
Brushwork in Chinese Landscape Painting