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The Place: Fantasia of Scenery by Tang Ying Chi

30.4 - 10.7.2021


Tang Ying Chi is a renowned Hong Kong artist who also merged various roles as educator, curator and writer. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in fine art from Goldsmiths College of the University of London in England and master’s and doctoral degrees in fine art from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University in Australia respectively.

This exhibition showcases 30 pieces of recent paintings by Tang, including the latest series “The Place” in 2020 which refers to the pursuit of an ideal world by the ancient Chinese in landscape paintings. Blending Chinese and Western painting materials, she uses ink to depict mountains as well as trees, and bright coloured blocks to render scenery textures. By looking at Tang’s paintings, viewers are transported to her imaginary landscapes and invited to envision the world they yearn for.

(This exhibition is supported by JCCAC’s Professor Mayching Kao Arts Development Fund.)

Fantasia of Scenery

Tang Ying Chi indicated that her series “The Place” is inspired by traditional Chinese landscape paintings. Integrating Chinese and Western materials to depict mountainous scenes, she exemplifies a reinvented style of Chinese paintings. She accentuates depth and distance through distinctly layering the presentation of foreground, middle ground and distant tier; a key feature of modern Chinese paintings. She de-emphasises the traditional application of texture strokes and uniquely employs coloured blocks to create texture of the sceneries.

The colour scheme that Tang has chosen is comprised primarily of red, yellow, blue, white and black. In the traditional Chinese concept, these colours are known as zheng se (pure colours or primary colours), representing the Five Elements: fire, earth, wood, metal and water respectively. Mixing these colours in different combinations gives rise to jian se (variegated colours). All matter in the universe is formed by the interaction of the Five Elements. Given Tang’s colour palette, it is assumed that whatever exists in our world can be found in “The Place”.

When composing images in graphic design, putting different coloured blocks together is common. In the “The Place” series, coloured blocks represent mountains. To construct a three-dimensional effect, these monochromatic shapes are deliberately overlapped to create a rhythmic sense of layers and depth.

Tang’s landscape paintings abound with mountains, streams, flowers and trees. However, her natural sceneries are not without traces of human activity i.e. man-made structures such as roads and bridges can be seen. In some scenes, Tang portrays individual figures dressed in modern outfits using Western techniques. Her depiction of nature is a fusion of tradition and modernity in which she reinterprets images of the East through Western lens. The figures in her paintings are either bewildered by the mesmerising landscape of the East or bewitched by the everchanging beauty of nature. Witnessing the unlimited possibilities of reinventing traditions, her figures grasp the vitality and innovative power of her artistry.

With such creative vigour, Tang’s works have captivated the world by adding extraordinary colours to our ordinary life.

YEUNG Chun Tong
Director, Sun Museum


The Place: Fantasia of Scenery by Tang Ying Chi

Editor: NGAN Yu Ting
2021, paperback, Chinese/English, 72 pages, 20 x 26 cm
ISBN: 978-988-78197-7-6

A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue featuring 30 pieces of paintings by Tang Ying Chi.

Price: HKD$80

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