(Featured image: Eagle, 2017, Colour on paper with frame)
The Macao Museum of Art presents Bathing in the Spring Breeze – Paintings by Liu Mengkuan, an art exhibition open to public until August 25, 2019. The Lingnan School of painting, led by master artists Gao Jianfu, Gao Qifeng and Chen Shuren, has experienced different aesthetic developments in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. In the 1960s and 1970s, aspiring artists in Guangzhou absorbed the stylistic vocabularies of Realism from art academies on top of the revolutionary spirit they had inherited from the Lingnan School of painting. With this they formed a painting style that both reflected the times and breathed vigorous life into their work.
In Hong Kong and Macau, artists continued to ‘integrate Chinese and Western techniques’ to help Chinese art catch up with the times. At that time, master artist Deng Fen, an advocate of preserving Chinese painting characteristics and a key founder of the Guihai Painting Cooperative (later Guangdong Chinese Painting Research Society), opposed random Chinese and Western integration. Another master named Yang Shanshen, who at a young age studied under Gao Jianfu and later in life befriended Deng Fen, spent much time contemplating the state of modern Chinese painting. At the end of the 1970s, Yang began to establish a style and aesthetics in which ‘richness is seen in dry, withered ink strokes’ that would later influence Liu Mengkuan, who studied under Yang in 1977.
Born in Hong Kong in 1950, Liu Mengkuan is a founding member of ‘Xiang Gang Mei Xie’ (Hong Kong Art Association), and president of the Mu Feng Art Club. He graduated from the Wah Yan College, Kowloon, and in 1977 began studying under Yang Shanshen, a second-generation master of the Lingnan School. In 1983, Liu decided to be a full-time painter, becoming an active member of the third generation of the Lingnan School. In 1986, he hosted his first solo exhibition at the American Library in Hong Kong, followed by a second solo at the Museum Luís de Camões in Macau in 1987. Over the years, he has exhibited around the world, including in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Martinique in Central America, as well as at galleries in Tokyo, Yokohama, Fujisawa and Nara, in Japan. Since 2000, he has held solo exhibitions in several cities in Mainland China, including Jiangmen and Zhongshan in Guangdong and Wuzhou in Guangxi. In 2017, his work was selected to the international exhibition Ink Global in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to the motherland.
When: July 27–August 25, 2019
Where: Macao Museum of Art, Avenida Xian Xing Hai, NAPE, Macau
How much: Free admission
For more information, check the event’s official page