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Tones of Festival
Modern Hong Kong Watercolour

23/06/2017 - 19/08/2017


Watercolour embodies both Western realism and Chinese expressionism, which enables handling of diverse themes with more interesting effects. Commemorating the 2nd Anniversary of Sun Museum as well as celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of HKSAR, the upcoming exhibition features 55 watercolor paintings by 14 Hong Kong artists, including Kong Kai Ming, Shen Ping, Cheuk Hiu Kwong, Tsui Tin Yun, Chan Cho Yan, Chan Kau On, Lu Guo Yuan, Mak Siu Fung, Wong Chung Man, Wong Kum, Liu Cheng Mui, Lao U Kei, Au Yeung Nai Chim and Tse Lok Yau Rainbow. Each participating artist formulates his own style from a great variety of painting techniques. What they depict is a vivid revelation of their living experience. This exhibition would surely give a new insight into the development of the art of Hong Kong watercolour.

Message from director

For beginners, life sketching using pencil is generally the first step in learning to paint. Watercolour pigments are then applied to practise mix and match. Since watercolour is translucent, it can be superimposed on monotone to produce multicolours without affecting the sketch outline nor its light and shade. Alternatively, watercolours can be deployed directly to create the painting.

Art students will find watercolours more manageable. All that needs is adding water to various pigments to create the colours. However once the watercolours are applied, they are hard to change, unlike oil paintings which allow colours to be altered simply by applying over the old a fresh layer of oil paint. Hence, watercolour painting demands absolute skill in mixing and application. Precision in positioning the colours is also vital.

Watercolour painting is relatively easy to learn but hard to master. It is often regarded as an introduction to colouring. Watercolour is closely akin in nature to Chinese ink painting as both exercise the art of using water. Hence it is not impossible for watercolour artists to excel in ink painting.

At present ink painting is popular in the Hong Kong art sector. Unfortunately few ink painting artists produce excellent watercolour paintings. Traditional watercolour painting is not seen as fundamental skill training nor as profitable art. This results in the lack of watercolour appeal to young artists, thus adversely affecting diversity development in the local art sector.

In line with the objective to present China and Hong Kong culture for the promotion of a deeper understanding of traditional art by the general public, the Museum invites 14 eminent and aspiring Hong Kong artists to participate in this exhibition. The exhibits, mainly recent works, command individual unique styles, offering a new perspective for appreciation.

Since watercolours are tools most suited for life sketch, considerable exhibits focus on Hong Kong iconic scenes: vegetable and meat markets, street eatery stalls, traditional temples, obsolescent fishing villages and modern bustling harbour. Previously such scenes projected are static and simple. Now the paintings are imbued with motion: figures, vehicles and boats all seem to move propped by the surrounding, thus enriching the visual content.

Artists enjoy creating atmospheric scenes manipulating light, dusk and weather. They are skilful in using watercolours to render the feel of oil paints in veristic trees and streams much to the applause of viewers.

Such rich content and diverse styles mark the charm of Hong Kong watercolour paintings. As the Museum celebrates its second anniversary and the twentieth anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, we are grateful for the support of participating artists who rediscover the beauty of watercolour and put on display yet another achievement of the Hong Kong people.

YEUNG Chun Tong


Exhibition Catalogue

Editor: Rachel LEUNG
2017, hardcover, Chinese/English, 96 pages, 26 x 27 cm
ISBN: 978-988-78196-0-8

​A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue featuring 55 watercolour paintings by 14 Hong Kong artists, such as Kong Kai Ming, Shen Ping, Cheuk Hiu Kwong and Tsui Tin Yun.

​Price: HKD$100

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