Chou Irene

1924- 2011, Shanghai China

Introduction

Irene Chou (1924 Shanghai-2011 Australia) was a student of Lui Shou-Kwan and a key figure of the New Ink Art Movement in Hong Kong. The one-stroke technique, derived from Chinese philosophy Zen and Taoism, and encouraged by her mentor Lui Shou-Kwan, led to her dynamic, abstract painting style—becoming her signature style in the 1980s. Upon graduating from the Economics department at Shanghai St John’s University in 1945, Chou worked as a journalist for Peace Daily Shanghai. Thereafter she left for Taipei and in 1949 for Hong Kong. Five years later she started to learn classical painting under Zhao Shao’ang, a master of the Lingnan school.

During the 1960s she was introduced to Western Abstract Expressionism by Lui Shou-Kwan and inspired to combine Western and Chinese art while striving to retain the essence of Chinese traditional art. Her works demonstrate a solid grounding in traditional Chinese painting methods as well as the footprint traced from Lui Shou-Kwan's iconic Zen painting.

She has won several prestigious awards including the Pacific Culture Asia Museum Fine Art Award, United States (1973); the Hong Kong Urban Council Fine Arts Award (1983) and Artist of the Year Award by Hong Kong Artists’ Guild, (1988). After suffering a life-threatening stroke in 1991 she moved to Brisbane, Australia and passed away at the age of 87. Alisan has been showcasing her works since 1987 and included her in the Lui Shou-Kwan 40 Years On Exhibition in 2015, the HOPE charity exhibiiton in 2018, and Uniquely Hong Kong in 2020.

 


BIOGRAPHY
1924    Born in Shanghai, China
1941-45    BA in Economics, St. John’s University, Shanghai, China
1946-47    Reporter for the Peace Daily, Shanghai, China
1947    Translated The World of Tomorrow by Burr W. Leyson, published by the Commercial Press, Shanghai, China
1949    Moved to Hong Kong
1976-84    Taught lithography and ink painting at the Extra Mural Studies, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
1992    Moved to Brisbane, Australia
2011    Passed away


SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2019  

  • A World Within: The Art and Inspiration of Irene Chou, Asia Society Hong Kong Centre, Hong Kong.
2006 
  • Universe of the Mind: Irene Chou a Retrospective Exhibition, University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2004 
  • Multicultural Community Centre, Brisbane, Australia
2003
  • The Universe is My Heart, My Heart is the Universe, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
1998
  • Rotunda, Exchange Square, Hong Kong
1997
  • Hong Kong Bank Building, Brisbane, Australia
1996
  • Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane, Australia
  • Queensland Performing Art Complex, Brisbane, Australia
1994
  • Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
1991
  • Godfrey Far East Art, London, United Kingdom
1987
  • Museum Luis de Camões, Macau
1986
  • Chinese Painting by Irene Chou, Fung Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
1985 
  • Charlotte Horstmann and Gerald Godfrey, Hong Kong
1983 
  • National Art Gallery, Manila, Philippines
1977   
  • Raya Gallery, Brisbane, Australia
1971   
  • United States Cultural Centre, Hong Kong
1969   
  • Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2020

2019

  • Hong Kong Experience • Hong Kong Experiment, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

2018

2016   
  • Being and Inking: Documenting Contemporary Ink Art 2001-2016, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art, Guangzhou, China
2015 
2008 
2006   
  • Contemporary Hong Kong Ink Painting Exhibition, Hong Kong Central Library, Hong Kong
2002 
  • Chinese Paintings from the Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Artists in the Neighbourhood Scheme II Launching Exhibition, Hong Kong Central Library, Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Cityscapes: Ink Painting in Transition, Hong Kong Festival, London, United Kingdom
2001 
  • In Celebration of Art: Hong Kong Arts Centre 25th Anniversary Exhibition, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
1995 
1993 
  • Inaugural Exhibition of the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia
1992 
  • Chinese Art 1992, Godfrey Far East Art, London, United Kingdom

1989 

  • Exhibitions of 19th and 20th Century and Modern Chinese Paintings, Sotheby’s Hong Kong and Christie’s Swire, Hong Kong (to 1993)

1988 

  • 22nd International Contemporary Art, Monte Carlo, Monaco
1987 
  • Reality & Infinity: Joint Exhibition of Irene Chaou and Koo Mei, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

1985 

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

1984 

  • Academy Award Winner’s Exhibition, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

1983 

  • Art 1983, Fung Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Contemporary Art of the Eighties, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
  • Women Artists’ Show, Hong Kong Women’s Art Council, Hong Kong

1982 

  • Contemporary Art from Hong Kong, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Manila, Philippines 
  • Contemporary Vision of Landscape, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

1981 

  • Art 1981, Fung Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Contemporary Art by Chinese Intellectuals, Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong
  • Japan International Artists Society Inaugural Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan
1980 
  • Hong Kong Art, Yolanda Gallery, Chicago, United States
1979 
  • One Art Group Exhibition, National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan 
1977 
  • Hong Kong Arts Centre Inaugural Exhibition, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
  • Women Artists, Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong
1976 
  • Art 1976, Fung Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
1975 
  • Cleveland International Drawing Biennial, London, United Kingdom
  • Five Artists Exhibition, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan
  • Hong Kong Artists 1975, Saint John’s Hall, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Painters, Luz Gallery, Manila, Philippines
1974 
  • 1st Exhibition of Contemporary Hong Kong Art, Hong Kong Art Festival, Hong Kong
1973 
  • Chinese Ink Painting, Fung Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Contemporary Hong Kong Art Exhibition, City Hall Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong
  • Five Contemporary Chinese Artists, Mavis Chapman Gallery, Sydney, Australia
1972
  • Art Now Hong Kong, Evansville Museum, Indiana, United States
1971 
  • Art Now Hong Kong, London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Contemporary Chinese Ink Painters, Lee Nordness Gallery, New York, United States
1970 
  • 202nd Exhibition of Royal Academy of Arts, London, United Kingdom
1969  
  • 201st Exhibition of Royal Academy of Arts, London, United Kingdom
  • Contemporary Hong Kong Art, City Hall Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong


SELECTED AWARDS
1972    Pacific Culture Asia Museum Fine Art Award, California, United States
1983    Urban Council Fine Arts Award (Chinese Painting), Hong Kong
1988    The Artist of the Year Award, Hong Kong

 

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA
British Museum, London, United Kingdom
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia
Raya Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
National Art Gallery, Manila, Philippines
National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan
Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong
University Museum & Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong