28–31 MARCH 2024

UOB Art Space

UOB_AC2024_Mountains Beyond_1 (1) (1)

Artist rendering. Courtesy of UOB Hong Kong.

UOB Presents Yau Wing Fung

Mountains Beyond (2024) is an interactive ink art installation by Hong Kong artist Yau Wing Fung, commissioned by UOB. The large-scale cyclical installation immerses audiences in an exploration of the profound effects of pollution on both humanity and the natural environment. By fostering a dynamic interaction between man and nature through space and time, the artwork inspires viewers to consider human impact on our surroundings.

The landscape painting portrays the breathtaking scenery of different inhabited islands in Hong Kong, linked together in a panoramic composition. He presents the islands in the form of rubbing – using dabber, ink and other materials to transfer textures onto paper in a white-on-black representation. This technique is a time-honoured method for the ancients to retain authenticity, mementos and records. Yau’s work honours the untouched beauty of the islands in this form, leaving white space – a concept central to traditional Chinese painting – against the dynamism and vibrancy of the city’s development.

To transcend the constraints of two-dimensional ink paintings and enable audiences to engage with multiple perspectives, Yau has mounted the landscape painting onto the inner walls of a monumental cylindrical structure, forming a circular and complete imagery of landscape. This approach forms a panoramic continuum that breaks away from traditional viewing experiences. As viewers freely navigate through the space, they are presented with an opportunity to observe the painted islands from multiple vantage points, from afar to up close, from ground level to elevated heights, and to experience the peace of a deserted island while travelling through the repeating scenery of mountains and rivers. The installation sits atop a reflective surface patterned with water ripples, creating an impression of the islands floating amidst the sea. As audiences traverse the shimmering surface, an ephemeral yet profound connection emerges, between the self, the surrounding environment and nature.

Urban development and transformation often disrupt nature’s delicate balance, resulting in ecological damage. While light symbolises beauty, warmth and positivity, light pollution also plays a significant role in ecological disturbances. Sources such as neon lights, buildings and everyday illumination all contribute to obscuring the night sky’s starry beauty. To highlight the impact of light pollution, Yau has installed LED lights along the inner walls of the artwork. The lights will adjust based on the number of visitors and their proximity. Through Mountains Beyond, Yau encourages audiences to reflect on introspection by juxtaposing the coexistence and contradictions of human and nature, light and light pollution, thereby unearthing the often-overlooked repercussions of our pursuit of glamour.

About the artist

Yau Wing Fung focuses on ink creation and research. His work fuses the spatial aesthetics of ink with contemporary visual experiences. Yau’s early works incorporated traditional landscape painting techniques with the segmented recording method of remote-sensing images. On the other hand, his installations take the spatial relationship between a viewer and an artwork to multiple dimensions by reinterpreting traditional landscape paintings. These installations embody the concept of ‘sceneries shifting with the movement of every step’, a phrase that captures the essence of viewing traditional Chinese landscape paintings.

Yau earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in fine arts with first-class honors from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and is now a Ph.D. candidate in Chinese Art History at the same institution. He serves as an educator at universities and art institutions in Hong Kong. He has been honoured with the Liu Kuo-sung Ink Art Awards – Silver and the Wucius Wong New Ink Art Awards and others. Yau has held solo exhibitions in New York, Hong Kong and Macao and has participated in various exhibitions locally and internationally, including “Wu Bin: Ten Views of a Lingbi Stone” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Art Basel, “Chinese Contemporary Ink” at Christie’s Auction, Ink Asia, Art Taipei, among others. His artworks have been acquired by various art museums, organisations and private collectors, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, M+, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Land and Cathay Pacific Airlines.

Art in Ink Workshops at Art Central

In addition to the exhibition, the UOB Art Space offers workshops led by esteemed artists Rebecca Hon, Tony Ng, Yau Wing Fung and Simon Yung. These workshops cover a variety of genres, including abstract ink, modern Chinese ink, experimental ink and traditional Chinese ink. Participants will embark on an exploratory journey into the world of ink art, understanding and grasping traditional techniques and contemporary expression. Priced at HK$100 per person per session, with discounts available for children and senior citizens, the proceeds will go to the UOB Art Academy Limited, a registered charity in Hong Kong dedicated to promoting art and fostering art education for less privileged communities.

Pre-registration is required.

Bridging Boundaries: Ink Art as a Catalyst for Community Connections

Speaker: Kwok Kian Chow, S. Alice Mong
31 March 2024, 2 pm

Art has the power to inspire and ignite, transcending boundaries to unite people. Beyond a communication tool, art is about building connections, fostering understanding and creating visions of our shared future. This fireside chat will explore the ways in which humanistic and artistic exchanges play a crucial role in promoting collaboration and cooperation between China and ASEAN, particularly through the medium of ink art. Contemporary ink works, from calligraphy and painting to photography and video, embody the vast history of Chinese culture and its continuation in meaningful expressions for society today. Advancements in thinking and technology have provided momentum for change in Chinese paintings, allowing artists to break through the limitations of forms and media, and opening up new versatility in art making. In an increasingly globalised world, this session will explore how ink art can serve as a cultural conduit between different Asian communities, and as an important intersection between culture, civilisation and shared experiences. Join us for an engaging talk between esteemed speakers who will offer unique insights into the enduring and vibrant legacies of ink art, witnessing how it has shaped cultural identities and fostered mutual understanding, in the past, present and future.

28–31 MARCH 2024