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Lvi Chun Kwong: Forming Dusty Clues

李静茹 Jelly Lee 2019-03-07 16:05


Landscape No.T166882 2016  Acrylic on Linen 183x244cm

A glance at Lui Chun Kwong’s works hardly gives you the information that they are created by a 63-year-old artist, since natural sceneries are abstractedly presented on his canvas. What Lui cares is not how mountains and waters are spoken in the modern painting language, but how to return to the initial form of painting and discover the essence of art. 

Having grown up in Hong Kong, Lui’s career was influenced by his study in Taiwan and London. His iconic painting style was picked up during his last master year in Goldsmiths, University of London. It was in 1994, when the 38-year-old Lui reached an epiphany: that he was no longer satisfied with his work. “(At that time) I thought everything was extravagant. I was eager to return to the native in both art and life.” As he recalls, “I didn’t intend to create abstract art. But I was disappointed by my previous works and I felt disturbed by many stereotypical ideas around me.” Then, Lui thought over how to capture the primitive forces on canvas, and how to interpret his ideas over cause and effect, weakness and tenacity, motion and still, order and disorder. Finally, his thoughts were condensed in a pile of straight lines, and he came to realise the essence he had been fervently pursuing began to gradually emerge… 


Landscape No.R18210072 2018  Acrylic on Linen 200 x 100 x 5.2 cm (diptych, 200 x 100 x 5.2 cm each)

In his paintings, nature is explored through flowing vertical lines, overlapping with gradients that express “the eternity, like mountain like water, like love and like loyalty.” From concrete to abstract, and from symbols to forms, Lui plants his emotions in the soil of abstracted nature. These works convey the message that the precious memories of nature are so transient, and irretrievable. 

Lui Chun Kwong named his works “Mountains and Waters”. The warm colour tone overthrows stereotypes, with the slim lines that construct the unique texture of rocks, fountains, bushes and bamboos. Each single line condenses the view it represents and when combined, the essence of matters unveils itself to the audience. 

“Lui Chun Kwong answers the question of what is a painting through his talented creation in minimalist form and vibrant colours… Compared to maintaining the simplicity of painting, Lui is actually exploring the diversity of simplistic forms,” says art critic and curator Lü Peng. Vertical and horizontal lines embody the scales of nature, as well as the law of nature. Paintbrushes extend the reach of arms, while the canvas extends the horizon beyond what the eye can see. 


Landscape No.R18210072 2018  Acrylic on Linen 200 x 100 x 5.2 cm (diptych, 200 x 100 x 5.2 cm each)

Now Lui Chun Kwong treats creating art as “ploughing”, through the repetitive practice he enters the realm of “anatta” – the Buddhist term for a feeling of “no-self” or “substanceless”. His latest solo exhibition in Shanghai AIKE Gallery, Forming Dusty Clues, showcases his oriental philosophy and life attitude. “I don’t care much about concepts, but beliefs, those formed through years of life and practice. They support you through the cause of life and patiently guide you to your truest self…” After more than two decades of abstract painting, Lui regards art as his life habit, which needs to be guided by self-discipline; and painting as a profession, that need to be repeated with care, and perseverance. 

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