Hong Kong Artists and Sketches
12/6/2020 - 29/8/2020
Featuring around 120 sketches by 40 Hong Kong artists from different fields, the exhibition is jointly organised by Sun Museum and Xiang Gang Mei Xie in collaboration with Hong Kong Art.
Sketching is the fundamental skill of representing shapes and forms. It is also an independent art form. The exhibits demonstrate their creators’ keen eyes of observation as well as swift but accurate drawing skills. Spanning a range of media, they speak of the distinctive style of each participating artist: human forms delineated in charcoal; glamorous cityscapes captured in ink wash; atmospheric effects rendered with oil paint; landscapes and architecture depicted with precision typical of the fountain pen. The sketches may appear simple or as a form of doodling and yet adequately reflect the artistic attainments of their creators.
Tien Chi WONG Chau Tung
Wucius WONG SZETO Nai Chung, Nigel
SHING Kin Cheung CHU Tat Shing
HO Siu Chung, Alex SHEN Ping
CHEUK Na ZHOU Jin
LAM Shiu Chi LAM Tian Xing
LAM Cheng Feng LAM Man Kong
QIU Yu Zhang HAU Siu Ching
WAI King Man, Keman YUNG Ngai Man
Yick Hang MA Tat Wai
MA Chuen Kassia KO
HUI Chiu Ki HUI Kam Wor, Thomas
CHAN Chung Shu CHAN Fong Yuen
CHAN Wai CHAN Chiu Lung
CHEN Keng PANG Lai Man, Amy
ZENG Damao WONG Hau Kwei
LIU Cheng Mui HUNG Hoi
ZHAO Zhijun AUYEUNG Nai Chim
POON Yeuk Fai CHOI Kin Yue
TAM Nga Man TSE Ching
The Art of Sketching
Sketching and drawing are highly related because sketches are in fact a type of drawing. Drawing is a basic skill and can generally be divided into two categories: “slow drawing” in which a painter meticulously depicts a subject and “quick drawing” in which the depiction is rapidly executed. Both are derived from life drawing.
As for how drawing is accomplished, three methods are commonly adopted. The first is by observing the subject from a fixed angle and drawing exactly what is seen. This is named the “linear perspective” as the drawing only has one fixed focal point. The second method is by observing the subject from different perspectives and recording its various forms, known as the “scattered perspective”. As such, “linear perspective” only presents a single form of the subject while “scattered perspective” depicts not a fixed but multiple forms. Consequently, an expanded scene is created since the image of an object is interpreted from different angles.
Painters practising Western painting often use the “linear perspective” to draw a direct replica of what is seen while those practising traditional Chinese painting prefer the “scattered perspective” and draw lines using ink. This is called bai miao (“plain drawing”), similar to drawing in Western art. However, bai miao does not show varying gradations of ink while drawing gives rise to a three-dimensional effect through the light-dark contrast.
Chinese painters emphasise the essence of a sketched subject. They conduct a comprehensive observation and then render all the multiple forms in one drawing. Hence, bai miao is usually a “slow drawing” with “scattered perspective”.
Today, drawing has evolved into an independent art form. In addition to sketching on the spot, a painter often captures the subject in his memory and then reproduces it through changing its form or the whole composition, turning it into his own creative work. This is termed the “painting method”, the third method of drawing. In most cases, “quick drawing” is rendered by the “linear perspective” or “painting method”.
Hong Kong painters have been employing diverse methods while incorporating both Western and Chinese painting. They are not limited to sketching sceneries nor only using a monochromatic pen; they also employ different colour tones such as watercolour, ink or oil paints to rapidly compose a drawing. In terms of style, their sketches are mostly realistic, some combining the meticulous and expressive styles, but seldom abstract.
Modern sketching is not just a preliminary practice, nor is it necessarily categorised under drawing. It is considered a complete painting. A painter must possess great techniques in order to quickly finish an artwork. At the same time, the painter needs to grasp the key feature of the subject within a short time and render it expeditiously. Thematically, a good sketch highlights the atmosphere of a landscape, the essence of a person or that of an object. Such sketches may appear simple or as a form of doodling yet they adequately reflect a creator’s artistic attainment. Hence, we must learn to wholeheartedly appreciate sketching.
YEUNG Chun Tong
Director, Sun Museum
Editor: NGAN Yu Ting
2020, hardcover, Chinese/English, 128 pages, 23.5 x 31 cm
A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue featuring around 120 sketches by 40 Hong Kong artists from different fields, including Tien Chi, WONG Chau Tung, LAM Tian Xing, HAU Siu Ching, WAI King Man and CHEN Keng.