Beyond Ink

Exhibition Period: 30 March 2020 (Mon) to 27 June 2020 (Sat)

Venue: Cheer Bell Gallery, Global Trade Square, 21 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong

Opening Hours: Tue to Sat 11:00 - 19:00

Welcome visitors by appointment: (852) 2341 8899/ 9725 8019


We are proud to present inspirational works by revolutionary contemporary Chinese ink artists Li Hou & Chan Shing Kau at “Beyond Ink”. It is no doubt that Chinese ink has a long history. Yet, artists like Li Hou and Chan Shing Kau spent most of their lifetime on revolutionizing it. With their out-of-the-box thinking, they made their names as contemporary Chinese ink artists by breaking the boundaries of ideals in figurative art imposed by traditional Chinese ink advocates. “Beyond Ink” is going to take you on a thrilling ride to see contemporary Chinese art with fresh eyes and get a taste of its magnificence. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to a one-of-a-kind experience.


The 82-year-old Chinese ink artist Li Hou, though now resides in the U.S., is regarded as the pioneer of abstract ink art. Li has been learning Chinese ink as a child. In the early 90s, he paid his first visit to Europe and the U.S., where he encountered the rich colors and Western notion of “points and lines to planes”. After a 20-year-long experimentation, Li has established his very own “language” in abstract ink art, making remarkable progress in expanding the modern ink art scene.


With “Exploration of Ink” as the anchor, Li brought about an ingenious reform in Chinese traditional ink and showed us the modern take on Chinese ink. His works are composed of stratified points and lines to accumulate layers of ink on paper. Each point and line complements each other to uncover an energetic and lively rhythm of life. A closer look reveals a vividly dynamic composition and a compelling force as if an abstract ink wonderland has come into being. It is the perfect example of figurative art meeting abstract art.


The now 68-year-old Chinese ink artist Chan Shing Kau has been studying Chinese ink for nearly half a century. Like his mentor Liu Kuo-sung (also known as the Father of Modern Ink Painting), Chan seeks to push the envelope of traditional Chinese ink technique. By utilizing the ink flowing nature and incorporating creatively in his artworks the Chinese calligraphy theories and rhythm of lines, Chan’s original “rubbing and wrinkling” technique creates artworks that build up a majestically solid ambience.


“Beyond Ink” will be showcasing Chan’s artworks from earlier stages of his artist career, as well as his signature series “Roots of Heaven and Earth” and “Tracing Series”. “Roots of Heaven and Earth” series captures “tension of white lines” and a unique and moving sentiment for the stupendous mother earth and hilly mountains. With meandering script-like lines, “Tracing Series” is a homage to Chinese calligraphy. Not only do Chan’s brushstrokes relate to aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy in seal and cursive scripts, they are also deemed to resemble traces of scratches left by spirits and deities on sand through “planchette writing” in Chinese folk religion.