Kan Tai-keung

1942, Guangzhou China

Introduction

An active design educator and artist, Kan Tai-keung is one of Hong Kong’s most famous graphic designers and noted ink painters. Born in 1942 in Pangyu, Guangdong, Kan has resided in Hong Kong since 1957. His passion for painting developed early on in his childhood, and his grandfather, Kan Yaosheng, a clay sculptor, encouraged his pursuit of art. Kan first studied watercolour painting and sketching with his uncle Kan May-tin in 1964. In 1967, he began attending design classes taught by Wucius Wong and Chinese ink painting lessons under Lui Shou-kwan. Concurrently, he began working as a professional designer. In 1969, he began creating his own ink paintings, and became a member and chairman of the One Art Group. Kan was an active participant of Hong Kong’s New Ink Art Movement and has continued to explore his unique brand of creativity. Since the early 1970s Kan has been actively involved in art and design education, and has influenced many of his pupils. In 2005, Kan was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Design from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and in 2016 awarded the HKDA Lifetime Honorary Award by Hong Kong Designers Association. He is now the Honorary Dean of the Cheung Kong School of Art and Design, Shantou University, and was the Guest Professor of Central Institute of Fine Arts in Beijing and Guest Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Alisan Fine Arts held two solo exhibitions for Kan Tai-keung in 1985 and 1990, and included his works in two group exhibitions for Lui Shou-kwan and his students in 1995 and 2015. In her opening remarks for the gallery’s 1985 solo exhibition for Kan, Baroness Lydia Dunn commented that “Kan is a fine example of a highly talented artist combining as he does the techniques and traditions of both China and the Western world.”

His works are widely collected by museums and private collectors alike, and are in the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art; the Art Society of the International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C., United States; the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Guangdong Museum of Art; Taiwan Provincial Art Museum; Hong Kong Museum of Art; Hong Kong Heritage Museum; University Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Hong Kong; Hong Kong Jockey Club; Cathay Pacific Airways; Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation; Chase Manhattan Bank; Bank of East Asia; Museum Luís de Camões, Macau; Beijing Television & Broadcasting Station in China.



BIOGRAPHY
1942    Born in Panyu, Guangdong, China
1957    Moved to Hong Kong as an apprentice and worked as a tailor for 10 years
1964    Studied drawing and watercolour with his uncle May Tin
1967    Studied Chinese ink painting with Lui Shou-kwan and graphic design with Wucius Wong at the Department of Extra Mural Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong
1976    Established his own design firm
1979    1st designer to receive Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Hong Kong Award, Hong Kong
1984    3 paintings were selected by Hong Kong Government as gifts for the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and the Finance Minister of Japan
1995    First Chinese person to be included in “Who’s Who in Graphic Design” of Switzerland
1999    Conferred the Honour of Bronze Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong Government
Collaborated with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra to give a performance at Hong Kong City Hall
2002    Invited by China Central Television (CCTV) for a feature story
2005    Honorary Doctor of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
2007    Cooperated with Royal Copenhagen (Royal Porcelain Factory) and designed a porcelain dinner set named “Flora Banquet” to celebrate the reunification of Hong Kong to China
2010    Conferred the Honour of Silver Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong Government
2016    Awarded the HKDA Lifetime Honorary Award by Hong Kong Designers Association
Guest Professor at the Central Institute of Fine Arts, Beijing, China
Guest Professor at Tsinghua University, Fine Arts College, Beijing, China
Honorary Advisor of Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Present    Honorary Dean of the Cheung Kong School of Art and Design, Shantou University, Guangdong, China
Board Member of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority
Honorary Advisor of Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong
Advisor of the Leisure & Cultural Services Department, Hong Kong
Fellow Member Committee of Alliance Graphique Internationale

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS 
2019

  • Kan Tai-keung Art & Design Exhibition, Dalian Art College, Dalian, China

2016

  • Ink as Superior, Fei Gallery, Guangzhou, China

2012

  • Hong Kong Design Legacy and Beyond: The 70 Fruitful Years of Kan Tai-keung, Hong Kong Central Library, Hong Kong

2010

  • Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

2008

  • University Museum & Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong
  • Art Gallery@Soho East, Hong Kong

2002

  • Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong 

1991

  • Hong Kong Seibu Art Gallery, Hong Kong

1990

  • Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

1989

  • Isetan Department Store, Tokyo, Japan

1988

  • Museum Luis de Camões, Macau

1986

  • Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong

1985

  • Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

1984

  • Hui Arts Gallery, Minneapolis, United States

1983

  • The American Library, Hong Kong

1980

  • Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 
2019

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

2018

  • When Less is More, Alisan Fine Arts Aberdeen, Hong Kong

2016   

2015

2013

  • Kan Tai-keung and Students’ Designs on Adored Objects, Gallery of HKICC Lee Shan Kee School of Creativity, Hong Kong
  • The Origin of Tao: New Dimensions in Chinese Contemporary Art, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

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

  • Hong Kong Contemporary Chinese Ink Painting Exhibition 2007: In Celebration of 10th Anniversary of Hong Kong‘s return to the Motherland, Artist Commune, Hong Kong
  • The New Face of Ink Paintings: Modern Ink Painting Group Exhibition and Symposium, Sino Group, Central Plaza, Olympian City, Hong Kong

2006   

  • Contemporary Hong Kong Ink Painting Exhibition, Hong Kong Central Library, Hong Kong
  • 5th Shenzhen International Ink Biennial, Guan Shanyue Art Museum, Shenzhen, China

2004

  • 4th Shenzhen International Ink Biennial, Guan Shanyue Art Museum, Shenzhen, China

2003

  • Of Ink and Chairs: Kan Tai-keung + Freeman Lau, Art and Design Exhibition, DDD Gallery, Osaka; Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, Tokyo, Japan

2001

  • Hong Kong Cityscapes: Ink Painting in Transition, Brunei Gallery, The School of Oriental and African Studies, London, United Kingdom

1997

  • Hong Kong Art 1997: Collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Beijing & Guangzhou Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Guangdong Art Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

1995

1982

  • Contemporary Vision of Landscape, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

1972

  • Contemporary Hong Kong Art, City Hall Museum and Art gallery, Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong

 

SELECTED AWARDS
1979    
1st designer elected as "Hong Kong Ten Outstanding Young Persons"
1981    Hong Kong Urban Council Award (Painting category-Chinese media), Hong Kong
Gold Award in Mercury Award, New York, United States
1st Prize, 1st International Computer Art Biennale, Poland
1984    Gold Award, International Art Competition, Los Angeles, United States
The only designer to receive Urban Council Design Grand Award, Hong Kong
1987    2nd Hsing Shih Biennial Award, Taiwan
1991    Designer Award, Hong Kong Artist of the Year, Hong Kong
1995    1st Prize, 1st International Computer Art Biennial, Rzeszów, Polland
1998    Outstanding Achievement Award, Hong Kong
1999    Honour of Bronze Bauhinia Star, HKSAR
2010    Honor of Silver Bauhinia Star, HKSAR 
2016    HKDA Lifetime Honorary Award, Hong Kong Designers Association, Hong Kong

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS 
University of Connecticut, USA
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota, USA
Art Society of the International Monetary Fund, Washington, USA
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Staatliche Museum, Munich, Germany
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
Union des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France
Museum of Decorative Art, Copenhagen, Denmark
Ogaki Poster Museum, Ogaki, Japan
Suntory Design Museum, Osaka, Japan
Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea
National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
Guangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou, China
China Central Television, Beijing, China
Taiwan Provincial Art Museum, Taiwan
Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong
University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Jockey Club,  Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, Hong Kong
Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank, Hong Kong
Chase Manhattan Bank, Hong Kong
Bank of East Asia, Hong Kong
Museum Luis de Camões, Macau

 
Huizhou Impressions
Chinese ink on rice paper | 100x69cm | 2019
Plum Blossoms in Word
Chinese ink on rice paper | 2019
The Dance in Ink No.21
Chinese ink on rice paper | 13cm x 13cm | 2018
The Dance in Ink No.22
Chinese ink on rice paper | 29.5cm x 25.5cm | 2018
The Dance in Ink No.23
Chinese ink on rice paper | 34cm x 10cm | 2018
Viewing Sun on Cloudy Peak
Chinese ink & colour on rice paper | 25.5cm x 21cm | 2018
The Dance in Ink No.24
Chinese ink on rice paper | 27cm x 13cm | 2018
Rest Under the Tree
Chinese ink on rice paper | 12cm x 25cm | 2018
Appreciating Waterfall
Chinese ink on rice paper | 20cm x 8cm | 2017
The Move in Wind, Water and Cloud No.8
2017 | 95x95 cm | Chinese ink on rice paper
The Move in Wind, Water and Cloud No.10
Chinese ink on rice paper | 24.5cm x 16.5cm | 2017
The Move in Wind, Water and Cloud No.11
Chinese ink on rice paper | 32cm x 22cm | 2017
Rising Sun with Pine from Hill Top
Chinese ink & colour on rice paper | 40cm x 107cm | 2017
The Dance in Ink No.2
Chinese ink & colour on rice paper | 23.5cm x 19.5cm | 2017
Viewing Sun with Pine from Hill Top
Chinese ink & colour on rice paper | 22cm x 67.5 cm | 2017
The Dance in Ink No.3
Chinese ink on rice paper | 35.5cm x 17cm | 2017
The Dance in Ink No.17
Chinese ink on rice paper | 17cm x 17.5cm | 2017
Beyond the Window
2003 | 138x49cm | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Facing the Garden
2003 | 138x49cm | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Cold Rock
2003 | 138x49cm | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Cool Breeze
2003 | 138x49cm | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Red
2015 | 178x80cm/70x31 1/2” | Chinese ink and colour on paper