Red Sail in Hong Kong Harbour

Red Sail in Hong Kong Harbour
A set of three scrolls, mounted and framed, ink and colour on paper
Each scroll measures 180 x 60 cm. (70 7⁄8 x 23 5⁄8 in.)
(3)With three seals of the artist
Ink Art-Wong Hau Kwei (exhibition catalogue), National Museum of Art, May 2018, p.4.
Ink Art-Wong Hau Kwei (exhibition catalogue), Tianjin Museum of Art, May 2019, no pagination.
Beijing, National Museum of Art, Ink Art-Wong Hau Kwei, 9-20 May 2018.
Tianjin Museum of Art, Ink Art-Wong Hau Kwei, 17-26 May 2019.
Guangzhou, University City Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, The 13th National Exhibition of Fine Arts, China 2019: Exhibition of Works of Artists from Hong Kong SAR, China, Macao SAR, China, Taiwan, China and Overseas Chinese Artists, 7 September-7 October 2019.
Beijing, National Art Museum of China, The 13th National Exhibition of Fine Arts, China 2019: Artworks to Beijing, 20 December 2019 –
14 January 2020.

Brought to you by

Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯)
Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯) Vice President, Senior Specialist, Head of Sale

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Lot Essay

Artist Wong Hau Kwei is one of the representative figures in the contemporary ink painting scene in Hong Kong. Born in Chongqing in 1946, Wong is the son of Huang Mohan, a renowned political figure in Chongqing in the early 20th century. Wong graduated from China Textile University (now Donghua University) in 1969 and moved to Hong Kong in 1978. He began his artistic journey by studying traditional ink painting under master Huang Zhou in Beijing in the 1970s. Huang’s teaching has a profound influence on Wong’s work. Whilst in Hong Kong, Wong tirelessly divided his time between running a textile business and painting.
Wong’s paintings combine refined lines, meticulous brushstrokes and geometric composition, creating a visual harmony as if different elements are woven together with needles and threads, thus reminding reviewers of his background in textile. He often presents natural scenery, modern architecture, and his social commentary simultaneously in a single painting; his ability to aptly balance these elements has become his signature style. Wong’s art is not only rooted in Chinese traditions but also infused with Western aesthetics and forms. It demonstrates his proposition to break the boundary between China and the West, with a sense of urbanity which the artist experienced in his home city, Hong Kong.
Sailing along Victoria Harbour depicts the cosmopolitan night scenery of the Hong Kong waterfront. Although Wong has travelled extensively around the world, he is still most attached to Hong Kong. Having lived in the city for more than four decades, the artist considers it his hometown. A traditional Chinese boat with red sails traverses the harbour transporting tourists on their scenic trips. As the evening falls, the lights reflect the shadow of the red sails upon the shiny waves on the sea. Wong captures this magical moment and uses the red sailboat as an analogy for his devotion and love for the city.

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