Can you feel the elements of balance and harmony in this piece of work?

Seemingly simple, this composition demonstrates Irene Chou’s mastery of a range of techniques associated with both the ‘impact structural strokes’ of her Impact series and techniques associated with her ‘Dark Painting’ style, which she developed in the late 1970s. Two spheres sit side by side at the center of this abstract composition, separated by an uneven vertical line. On the left side, dense ink and the artist’s distinctive violent and short brushstrokes—what she called ‘impact structural strokes’—form a vertical zone, with a white ball at the centre. She has carefully applied multiple layers of ink wash to both sides of the thin xuan paper, systematically creating a sense of structure and depth, while forming a dark, thick and concentrated ink layer with a luminous surface and soft tones.

這幅看似簡單的構圖,卻展現出周綠雲的精湛畫技——她結合了1970年代末所創的的技法和畫風——「激霰皴」和重墨畫風格。兩個球體並排並放置在中心形成這幅抽象畫的平衡構圖,一條隨意而不平整的垂直線居中分隔開兩個區域。左側的垂直區域以白球為中心,周綠雲運用自創的 「激霰皴」繪製畫面的肌理,以繁密短小的筆觸,營造輕快而猛烈的灑濺效果。另外,周綠雲在薄薄的宣紙兩面塗抹多層水墨,有條不紊地創造墨色的層次和深度,直至形成一個濃黑而柔和光澤的畫面。

Chou painted the work during a period of depression after the death of her teacher Lui Shou-Kwan (1919-1975) and her husband Yang Yanqi (1920-1978) in the late 1970s.


The featured work is currently on display in our “COUPLET PAIR REBUS The Principle of Cause and Effect in Art” exhibition. The curator has carefully selected this piece along with another complementary work to be showcased together. What kind of interpretations might such curation bring to the works? Hurry over to the University Museum and Art Gallery at the University of Hong Kong for a careful appreciation!

以上作品正於《對聯 搭配 畫謎 ——藝術中的因果法則》展覽的「搭配」展廳中展出,策展人亦精心挑選了另一幅作品與本作品並列,這樣的策展方式會為作品帶來怎樣的解讀?馬上到訪香港大學美術博物館細心欣賞!
Irene CHOU (1924–2011)
Abstract Composition (detail)
Vertical scroll, ink and colour on paper




Resonance‧Balance—The Aesthetics of Chinese Couplets

Organised in conjunction with the exhibition COUPLET PAIR REBUS The Principle of Cause and Effect in Art, this lecture will explore the aesthetic of parallelism within Chinese couplets. Through selecting, translating and reviewing UMAG’s couplet collections, many of which are being exhibited here for the first time, the speaker will reveal how artists present the beauty of harmony and balance, and evoke resonance among individuals. There will also be a couplet recitation session that encourages the audience’s imagination and interpretation.
To Yeuk Hung obtained his bachelor degree in laws and doctorate in Chinese studies from HKU, and joined HKU’s Chinese Language Center in 2003. He has held the functional title of Deputy Research Supervisor and specialises in the teaching and research of Chinese culture. In 2018, he was a visiting scholar at the National University of Singapore. During this period, Dr To also served as a research fellow at Beijing Normal University (Zhuhai), Nanjing Normal University and taught a master’s degree program at the City University of Hong Kong. The courses he teaches include surveys of Shi and Ci poetry up to the nineteenth century, and his research interests include Chinese culture, creative writing and translation, classical poetry and teaching of practical Chinese language.

HKU-TDLEG: Digital Humanities and Chinese Culture
香港大學中文學院 數位人文與中華文化計劃
Check out the link in bio for more information!
📆 Wednesday, 31 January 2024
Lecture: 6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. (Cantonese)
Curator-led tour: 7:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. (English)
📍 Fang Zhaoling Gallery, 1/F, T. T. Tsui Building, UMAG, HKU, 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong


Shirin Neshat, an internationally recognised artist born in Iran, has gained worldwide acclaim for her photography and films that delve into the intricate connections between race, religion, gender, and politics. In 2012, Neshat was honoured with a grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation as part of their Artist as Activist series.

During this period, Neshat collaborated with her studio assistant, Larry Barnes, in Egypt. Barnes, who had just suffered the tragic loss of his daughter, joined Neshat in witnessing the profound despair that gripped the people following the unsuccessful pro-democratic movement, commonly known as the Arab Spring. It was in this context that Neshat created her poignant work titled 𝘖𝘶𝘳 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘐𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘍𝘪𝘳𝘦, which serves as an exploration of mourning on both personal and national levels.

Throughout the creative process, Neshat captured photographs of her subjects—impoverished and elderly men and women she encountered on the streets of Cairo. Not only did she photograph them, but she also invited them to share their personal experiences of loss resulting from the failed revolution. These conversations provided a profound insight into the individual and collective grief experienced by the people.
By intertwining the personal narratives of her subjects with the broader socio-political context, Neshat masterfully crafted 𝘖𝘶𝘳 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘐𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘍𝘪𝘳𝘦 as a powerful testament to the consequences of shattered hopes and unrealized aspirations.

In 𝘊𝘖𝘜𝘗𝘓𝘌𝘛 𝘗𝘈𝘐𝘙 𝘙𝘌𝘉𝘜𝘚 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘊𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘌𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘈𝘳𝘵, two works from the 𝘖𝘶𝘳 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘐𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘍𝘪𝘳𝘦 series are also on display. How does the curator interpret this series of works? Visit the University Museum and Art Gallery at the University of Hong Kong to appreciate the mentioned artworks!
Shirin NESHAT(1957—)
𝘎𝘩𝘢𝘥𝘢 (from the series 𝘖𝘶𝘳 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘐𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘍𝘪𝘳𝘦)
35/50, Digital C-print and ink
Donation from Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

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