Lui Shou-kwan

1919–1975, Guangzhou China

Introduction

Lui Shou-kwan (1919-1975), recognized as Hong Kong’s pioneer in the New Ink Movement has had a far-reaching influence on contemporary Chinese art. Born in Guangzhou, Lui’s interest in painting was inherited from his father Lui Canming (1892-1963) from early on. His father was a scholar-painter and owner of an antique shop. Lui studied Chinese painting by copying classical works by past masters, such as Bada Shanren (1626-1705, Ming Dynasty), Shitao (1642-1707, Qing Dynasty) and Huang Binhong (1865-1955, who he studied under for a short period). Lui graduated from the University of Guangzhou with a degree in Economics in1946. He moved to Hong Kong in 1948 and began working for the Hong Kong and Yaumatei Ferry Company as an inspector in 1949. While working on the pier, he was able to observe Hong Kong’s mountains and harbour scenes. These scenes often appear in his semi-abstract landscape works. Afterwards, he experimented with abstraction and symbolism which ultimately lead to the creation of his unique Zen Painting.

In 1954, Lui held his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, followed by numerous exhibitions in the United Kingdom and United States. In 1962, Lui was invited to be an Honorary Adviser of the newly opened City Museum and Art Gallery (later to be renamed the Hong Kong Museum of Art). Then in 1966 he was approached to become the teacher of Chinese ink painting at the Department of Extra Mural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and at the University of Hong Kong. In 1971, he received a MBE from the British Government. Sadly, when he was at the height of his artistic career he passed away at the young age of 56.


Alisan Fine Arts first exhibited his paintings in 1984, and since then has held three solo exhibitions of his work. The gallery has also organised two important historical exhibitions, in 1995 and 2015 respectively, tracing his career and legacy, and the works of his students. The latter exhibition travelled to Guangzhou in 2016 and was as part of “Being and Inking: Documenting Contemporary Ink Art 2001-2016”. His artworks are in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford University; de Young Museum, San Francisco; Taipei Museum of History, Taiwan; Art Museum of Chinese University of Hong Kong; the Hong Kong Museum of Art; M+ Museum for Visual Culture, Hong Kong, to name a few.




BIOGRAPHY

1919   Born in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
1946   Graduated from the University of Guangzhou with a degree in Economics
Organized Guangdong Flood Charity Fund Chinese Painting 
Exhibition in Guangzhou, China
Worked as an inspector in the Finance Department of the Municipal Government of Guangzhou, China
1948   Moved to Hong Kong
1949   Joined the Hong Kong and Yaumatei Ferry Company, working as an inspector
1952   Contributed articles on art and reviews on art exhibitions to local newspapers
1956   Established Hong Kong Chinese Art Club with Li Yanshan (1898-1961), Zhao Shao’ang (1905-1998) and others, and elected as permanent honorary adviser
Published A Study of Chinese Painting
1957   Became a member of Society of Hong Kong Artists
Formed Seven Artists Club with Ding Yangyong (1902-1978), Li Xipeng, Li Yanshan, Huang Bore (1901-1968), Yang Shanshen (1913-2004), and Zhao Shao’ang
1958   Founded New Art Studio to teach painting
Organized adult art classes at the Chung Shan Middle School, Hong Kong
1959   Invited by Modern Literature and Art Association to be its honorary advisor
1960   Wrote an article about the Korean Artists Group Exhibition in Hong Kong that was subsequently published by a Korean newspaper
1962   Honorary advisor to City Hall Museum and Art Gallery 
1966   Resigned from Hong Kong and Yaumatei Ferry Company
Taught Chinese ink painting at Department of Architecture, University of Hong Kong, on a regular part-time basis
Taught ink painting courses at Department of Extra Mural Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong
1968   His students from the Extra Mural Courses formed the In Tao Art Association and presented its first group exhibition
1971   Another group of his students from the Extra Mural Courses organizedthe exhibition titled Painting in the Chinese Tradition and later formed One Art Group
Awarded MBE by British Government for his contribution to the arts
1972   Published Lectures on Ink Painting
1975   Passed away in Hong Kong on 26 September, aged 56 years old
2005   His students published The Manuscripts of Lui Shou-kwan

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2018
  
  • Lui Shou-kwan Centenary Exhibition, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

  • A Tribute to Lui Shou-kwan, Ink Society, Ink Asia, Hoong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong
  •  In Search of Zen, The Art of Lui Shou-Kwan, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

2013

2011 

2002

  • Lui Shou-kwan: New Ink Painting Retrospective Exhibition, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong 

1988 

1985

  • Hong Kong in Ink Moods: Landscape Paintings by Lui Shou-kwan, Fung Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

1984 

1982

  • Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Satori Gallery, San Francisco, United States

1980

  • Gallery Eighties, Toronto, Canada

1977

  • Talbot Rice Arts Centre, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

1976

  • The World of Lui Shou-kwan Retrospective Exhibition, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

1974

  • Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

1973

  • Covent Garden Gallery, London, United Kingdom

1971

  • CJL Gallery, Hong Kong

1970

  • Hugh Moss Gallery, London, United Kingdom
  • County College of Morris, Randolph, New Jersey, United States

1969

  • Museum and Art Gallery, Newport, United Kingdom
  • South London Art Gallery, London, United Kingdom
  • Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Morningside, United Kingdom

1968

  • Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, United Kingdom
  • Portsmouth City Art Gallery, Southsea, United Kingdom

1967

  • Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, United Kingdom
  • Sally Jackson Gallery, Hong Kong1966 Fermoy Art Gallery, Lynn, United Kingdom

1965

  • Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, United Kingdom
  • National Library, Manila, Philippines

1964

  • City Hall Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong
  • Sino-American Cultural & Economic Association, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Luz Gallery, Manila, Philippines
  • Roland, Browse & Delbanco Gallery, London, United Kingdom
  • Municipal Art Gallery, London, United Kingdom
  • City Art Gallery, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • City of Nottingham Gallery, Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • Bangor Art Gallery, Bangor, North Wales, United Kingdom
  • New Metropole Arts Centre, Folkestone, Kent, United Kingdom

1963   

  • Sino-American Cultural and Economic Association, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Atherton Gallery, California, United States
  • Commonwealth Institute Art Gallery, London, United Kingdom
  • Commonwealth Institute Art Gallery, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Commonwealth Institute Art Gallery, Kensington, United Kingdom
  • Museum and Art Gallery, Letchworth, United Kingdom
  • Haigh Hall, Wigan, United Kingdom
  • Municipal Art Gallery, Kidderminster, United Kingdom
  • Municipal Art Gallery, Rochdale, United Kingdom
  • Municipal Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
  • Municipal Art Gallery, Gateshead, United Kingdom
  • Guildford House, Guildford, United Kingdom
  • Torre Abbey, Torquay, United Kingdom
  • Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, United Kingdom
  • Rumbold Gallery, Midhurst, United Kingdom

1962   

  • Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Queen’s University, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • Public Art Gallery, Dewsburry; Brighouse, United Kingdom
  • Gray Art Gallery, West Hartlepool, United Kingdom

1961   

  • Parkinson Court, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  • Mansard Gallery, United Kingdom
  • Hope Hall, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Atherton Gallery, Menlo Park, California, United States

1960   

  • Stanford Research Institute, California, United States
  • AF Gallery, Philadelphia, United States

1959   

  • Atherton Gallery, Menlo Park, California, United States
  • Sino-American Cultural and Economic Association, Taipei, Taiwan

1957   

  • British Council Library, Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Pacific Club, Hong Kong

1954   

  • Hong Kong Hotel, Hong Kong
  • Mandarin Hotel, Hong Kong

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2018

  • Chinese AbstractionArt Basel Hong Kong, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong
  • The Elegance and Affection in 20th Century Ink Painting, University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

  • Ink Worlds: Contemporary Chinese Painting from the Collection of Akiko Yamakazi and Jerry Yang, The Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Palo Alto, United States

2017   

2016   

  • Being and Inking: Documenting Contemporary Ink Art 2001-2016, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art, Guangzhou, Guangzhou, China

  • Alisan Fine Arts: Celebrating 35 Years of Promoting Chinese Contemporary Art, Hong Kong Central Library, Hong Kong

2015   

2014 

  • Two Masters, Two Generations, and One Vision for Modern Chinese Painting:Paintings by Gao Jianfu (1879-1951) and Lui Shou-kwan (1919-1975) in Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Oxford, Art Museum of Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 

2013 

  • Hong Kong Pavilion, Masterpiece London Fair, Alisan Fine Arts, Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, UK

2009 

2008 

  • Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue Exhibition Series II – New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond, curated by Alice King, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

2007 

2004 

2000-2001  

1997 

1996 

  • Group Exhibition on Chinese Ink Art, Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne, Germany
  • Post-1949 Chinese Painting, British Museum, London, UK

1995 

1985 

  • Shui Mo:The New Spirit of Chinese Tradition, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong

1983 

  • Recent Developments in 20th Century Chinese Painting, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong

1982 

  • Hong Kong Artists, Hui Arts, Minneapolis, US
  • Recent Developments in 20th Century Chinese Painting, Hugh Moss Gallery, London, UK

1980 

  • Hong Kong Artists, Gallery Eighties, Toronto, Canada

1977 

  • One Art Group Exhibition, Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong

1975 

  • 2nd Exhibition of Contemporary Hong Kong Artists, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Contemporary Ink Painting Exhibition, National Museum of Taiwan History, Tainan, Taiwan

1974 

  • 1st Exhibition of Contemporary Hong Kong Artists, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Hong Kong

1973 

  • Five Hong Kong Artists, Mavis Chapman Gallery, Sydney, Australia

1972 

  • Hong Kong Artists Exhibition, Pacificulture Museum, Pasadena, California, US
  • Hong Kong Artists Exhibition, Evansville Museum, Indiana, US

1971 

  • Art Now Hong Kong, London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester, UK
  • Contemporary Chinese Artists, Lee Nordness Galleries, New York, US

1970 

  • Four Hong Kong Artists, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong
  • Triennial Art Exhibition, Delhi, India 
  • Contemporary Trends, Expo Museum of Expo ‘70, Osaka, Japan
  • Open Exhibition, Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, UK

1969 

  • Contemporary Hong Kong Art Exhibition, City Hall Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong
  • 5th Group Exhibition of Bingshen She, Hong Kong

1968 

  • Oriental Themes, Grosvenor Gallery, London, UK

1967 

  • Modern Chinese Painting, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art,Edinburgh, UK

1965 

  • Modern Art of the Republic of China, Rome Museum of Art, Rome, Italy
  • São Paulo Biennale, Brazil
  • Treasures from Commonwealth, Royal Academy of Art, London, UK
  • Drian Gallery, London, UK

1964 

  • 3rd Hong Kong International Salon of Paintings, Modern Literature and Art Association, Hong Kong

1963 

  • Drawings of Distinction, Bear Lane Gallery, Oxford, UK

1962 

  • Hong Kong Art Today, Opening Exhibition of City Hall Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong
  • 2nd Hong Kong International Salon of Paintings, Modern Literature and Art Association, Hong Kong
  • 1st Saigon Biennale Art Exhibition, Saigon, Vietnam
  • Society for Education through Art, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK

1960 

  • 1st Hong Kong International Salon of Paintings, Modern Literature and Art Association, Hong Kong
  • 2nd Group Exhibition by Society of Hong Kong Artists, Hong Kong

1959 

  • Joint Exhibition with Students, Saint John’s Cathedral Exhibition Hall, Hong Kong

1958 

  • Exhibition of Traditional Japanese Painting by Japanese Government, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

1957 

  • 1st Group Exhibition by Society of Hong Kong Artists, Hong Kong
  • Group Exhibition of Seven Artists Club, Saint John’s Cathedral Exhibition Hall, Hong Kong

1947 

  • National Art Exhibition, China

 

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
City Art Gallery, Bristol, United Kingdom
Castle Gallery, Nottingham, United Kingdom
M. H. de Young Museum, Avery Brundage Foundation, San Francisco, United States
National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan
Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong
Fung Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Art Museum of Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
M+, West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong
Museum Luis de Camões, Macau
 
Zen Painting A74-3
1974 | 91.5x164.5cm/36x65 3/4'' | Chinese ink & colour on rice paper
Zen Painting A70-20
1970 | 151x82.5cm/95 1/2x32 1/2'' | Chinese ink & colour on rice paper
Zen Painting A70-11
1970 | 152x83cm | CHinese ink & colour on rice paper
Guanyin Grotto A69-2
1969 | 148x81cm | Chinese ink & colour on rice paper
Lotus
1969 | 139x69/54 3/4x27 1/6" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Zen Painting 1963
1963 | 136.5x64.5cm/53 3/4x25 1/2" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Zen Painting 1964
1964 | 94.5x43.5cm/37 1/4x17 | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Abstract Landscape 1962
1962 | 45x46cm/17 3/4x18 | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Abstract Landscape 1963
1963 | 45.5x95cm/17 1/8x37 1/2" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Lianhua Shan
1963 | 120x58.5cm/47 1/4x23" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Taiwan Landscape - Huoyan Shan
1971 | 44x80cm/17 1/2x31 1/2" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Sails
C.1960s | 22.5x43cm/9x17" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Zen Painting 1970
1970 | 150x81.5cm/59x32" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Zen Painting 1970
1970 | 148.5x80.5cm/58 1/2x31 3/4 | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Lotus
1968 | 120.5x60cm/47 1/2x23 3/5" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Zen Painting
1972 | 97x180cm/38 1/5x70 5/6" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Farmland at Dawn
1962 | 37x94.5cm/14 3/5x37 1/5" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Red Mountain Landscape
1962 | 43.5x46.5cm/17 1/6x18 1/3" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Fishing Village Landscape
1963 | 37.5x94cm/14 5/6x37" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Ink Lotus
1974 | 152x82cm/60x32 1/3" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Victoria Gap
1959 | 94.5x45.5cm/37 1/5x17 9/10" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Boat Houses
1961 | 93.5x37.5cm/36 4/5x14 4/5" | Chinese ink & colour on paper
View of Shatin
1965 | 57x121cm/22 2/5x47 2/5" | Chinese ink & colour on paper