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Chan Hon Chai

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Hon Chai Art Gallery

China Pictorial Introduction
China Pictorial Introduction
China Pictorial December 2004 presented Chan Hon Chai's Aesthetic Treats
South China Morning Post Interview on 9-Aug-1994
South China Morning Post Interview on 9-Aug-1994
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Excrept from SCMP Web Site 9-Aug-1994:

THEIR styles vary, but the artists share the same belief: as Hong Kong painters, they feel they have a responsibility to record the changes and share the beauty of their home.

Nine local artists are staging an exhibition of Hong Kong paintings this month - the fourth year it has been held. Water colours and Chinese ink paintings of local scenes, such as the tranquil fishing villages that have faded from the memories of many people, will be presented during the week-long exhibition.

One of the artists, Chan Hon-chai, founded a gallery 27 years ago and presents his own work locally and internationally. Although his simple but striking brush strokes have impressed many overseas art lovers, Chan has no desire to undertake any painting other than local scenes.

''I have a strong attachment with Hong Kong,'' he said. ''I have been here for several decades, and I consider Hong Kong my home.'' Chan, who came to Hong Kong from China, is the exhibition organiser and a former instructor at the Hong Kong Fine Art School. He was one of five artists who initiated the Hong Kong Scenery Painting Exhibition in 1992.

''At the beginning we painted together in the rural area after our dim sum gathering,'' Chan said. But as the artists discovered their different styles and perceptions about Hong Kong created a complete and colorful picture of the territory, they decided to share it with others.

It is tempting to think of Chan as a solitary artist, since most of his work depicts the peaceful seaside or remote fishing villages. But the colorful images of the city and its inhabitants in some of his works reflect the painter's cheerful and optimistic nature. ''My affection for this place is illustrated through the interaction of both the new and the old, and the use of different colours in my work,'' Chan said.

Many of the buildings captured in his work have already been torn down and Chan admitted he often got very sentimental just looking at the old scenes which no longer exist. ''I treasure the crowded living conditions in the olden days of Hong Kong,'' he said, showing one of his sketches of Lai Chi Kok Road. ''Many old things will continue to be destroyed and I wish to record them in my paintings as fast as I can.''


Paintings of Hong Kong by Local Artists is at the Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, August 9-15.