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Colour by Lam Yi Kei

25/8 - 7/10/2023


Lam Yi Kei is a Hong Kong artist. As a designer, production designer, and art director, he has been creating oil and gouache paintings since the 1980s. Gaining inspirations during his many visits to different European countries to learn painting, he uses his paintbrush and oil colour to paint people from all walks of life and things he comes into contact within the society. He especially enjoys painting subjects related to Hong Kong, including its characteristic landscapes.

Titled “Colour by Lam Yi Kei”, this exhibition presents nearly 30 of Lam’s oil paintings, featuring figures and landscapes. Combining the art of Chinese and Western paintings, and adopting both classical and modern colouring techniques, his works are able to reflect the subjects’ appearance and essence. Compared with personal painting style, he believes that the content and meaning of the works are more important. Painting the actual environment by observing its changes under light, he presents the audiences with joyful images.

Colour by Lam Yi Kei

The ancient Chinese traditionally learnt the art of painting by copying works of their predecessors. If paintings were unavailable, they would then rely on their teachers for guidance. These two learning methods lead to two consequences: learners’ paintings would either resemble their predecessors’ or show traces of their teachers’ painting style. With their foundations established, painters can thus evolve to explore their own creativity and develop their personal artistic styles; becoming true masters.

Lam’s teachers are paintings by other artists. Like the ancient Chinese, he practices and follows the strengths of their art pieces to enhance his painting skills. However, he does not deliberately create a unique painting in order to stand out from others. He stresses that the content of a painting is most crucial, as well as how the content is presented. The audience does not primarily focus on an artist’s personal painting style.

Lam’s figures are realistic and he emphasises on conveying their expressions and temperaments. Reflected in the essence of his figures, his painting style can be seen as both vivid and of high resemblance; achieving the two golden rules of traditional Chinese painting.

Lam’s landscapes share the same style as his figures. Adding to the fact that he believes the appearance and essence of subjects are affected by the trajectory, angle, and intensity of light, the artistic conception as well as the colours of the painting are indeed created by “light;” this is the key to Western painting.

Without light, there is no image. Lam’s oil paintings are neither eccentric nor pretentious. In fact, he paints the “light” of the actual environment to create joyful images.

Lam hopes that his paintings not only gratify himself but also others. Therefore, as opposed to resisting change, he thrives in creativity while merging Chinese and Western painting techniques. His works may not possess a defined painting style but they are certainly sui generis.

YEUNG Chun Tong
Director, Sun Museum


Colour by Lam Yi Kei

Editor: YIP Po Sum, Charlotte
2023, paperback, Chinese/English, 70 pages, 20 x 26 cm
ISBN: 978-988-75933-48

A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue featuring 32 pieces of paintings by Lam Yi Kei.

Price: HKD$50

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