Past Exhibition

Flights of Fancy — Landscapes by TC Lai

20 Nov - 31 Dec  |  2013
Lai TC
Alisan Fine Arts is honoured to present Professor TC Lai’s forth solo exhibition with the gallery. Born in 1921 to a family of scholars, Lai is a renowned Hong Kong artist and scholar. Like true scholars before him, he has mastered poetry, calligraphy and painting, known as the “Three Perfections” in Chinese culture. He has published more than 35 books on Chinese culture and art, including Chinese Calligraphy, Chinese Seals (University of Washington Press 1975, 1976) and Chinese Painting (Oxford University Press 1992). Considering his background as a classical Chinese scholar steeped in Western culture, it is only natural that he has incorporated elements of both to make his art uniquely his. At the ripe age of 92, Lai’s works continue to exude vitality and exuberance.

In this exhibition, we will be presenting 15 landscape paintings in Chinese ink & gouache on silk painted from 1994-2006. These works reflect his impressions of Hong Kong and Mainland China. They blend Chinese and Western images, old and contemporary, real and fictitious scenes resulting in beautiful surreal paintings. One can see this in “Hong Kong Panorama 2006” where Lai depicts the interior of an Oriental home. In this home, a fragment of Matisse’s famous painting as well as works from famous traditional Chinese calligraphy, poems and paintings adorn the wall; a traditional Chinese stool and a circular lattice window complete the view. All this is juxtaposed against a modern day scene of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour in the background.

The freshness of his approach, his bright clear palette, the humour and loving touches of his pictorial homage to Hong Kong all contribute to what has been hailed as a rare but successful welding of traditional Chinese aesthetics with western values. Other landscape paintings include familiar Hong Kong scenes such as Lion Rock, Botanical Garden and the Shatin racecourse.

(As part of the first ever Hong Kong Art Gallery Week)