Galerie du Monde is pleased to present the exhibition A Retrospective - Kwok Hon Sum. A broad selection of works by the artist are exhibited, including some of the most significant works created during his career, showcasing his proactive and unique journey.
The exhibition includes the artist’s earlier works The Majestic Cliff and The Mystic Temptation of Cloud and Snow, which were completed after the conclusion of Kwok Hon Sum’s Diploma Course in Modern Ink Painting by the father of modern Chinese ink painting, Liu Kuo-sung. At this time, the artist has deeply indulged in landscapes portraying mountain scenery with a dynamic vibrancy of wind and clouds. With these two waterfall paintings, he beautifully portrays the splendor and peacefulness of the waterfall with a touch of realism of a landscape at night.
In his work, Yin and Yang - The Two Modes, the hints of a notion of the universe are reflected, as well as the Chinese concept of “yin and yang” which relates to “forces complementing each other, man and heaven are united in harmony”. For this piece, distinctive and rich tones of red and blue are infused with light gradations of ink, invoking the lively and dynamic forces of heaven and earth. The center is superimposed with Kwok Hon Sum’s signature square gold leaf.
Fascinated with the gilded and painted golden statues of Buddhist and Taoist deities, the artist’s paintings are often marked by a gilded token of gold which serves as a unique icon of his artistic style, symbolically evoking the Chinese theoretical universe of “spherical heaven and square earth” and the imagery of “yin and yang” forces.
Following his strong interest drawn from Thangka and Buddhist prayer banners from Tibet since 1986, Kwok Hon Sum’s painting evolved into a new style, focusing on religious themes of statues, scriptures and the lotus. From Untitled, to his latest works, White Tathagata, Dharma (The Law) Realm, these are deeply rooted in the idea of generosity and mercy, karma reincarnation, revelation of one’s true self, the passage beyond life and death where every person could become Buddha and reincarnation for the next life. These fully coincide with his pursuit of seclusion and ethereal tranquility. Inspiration from the Buddhist and the Tibetan Tantric arts were incorporated into his modern ink painting, providing an outstanding statement of unique identity.
This is Kwok Hon Sum’s first commercial exhibition since he passed away in 2003. We are pleased to have the opportunity to present this extraordinary Hong Kong artist’s accomplishments with the public after nearly two decades. With Kwok’s exceptional artistic talent, bold innovations and distinctive painting style, his work marks an important chapter in the development of Hong Kong art history.
(Fred Scholle, Founder and Chairman of Galerie du Monde)