Feb 05 2024


5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Department of Art History

To be Hong Kong and Modern: Ha Bik Chuen’s Sculptures

Department of Art History presents

To be Hong Kong and Modern: Ha Bik Chuen’s Sculptures

Date: 5 February 2024 (Monday)Time: 5:30-7:00pmVenue: CPD G.02, Centennial Campus, HKUSpeaker: Michelle Wong, PhD candidate, HKU


This presentation examines a selection of sculptures by the late Hong Kong artist Ha Bik Chuen (1925-2009) and argues that artistic modernism in Hong Kong was a self-aware response to the diverse current of ideas and information on art circulating in the city. Ha’s sculptures encompassed self-conscious references to artistic modernism from Europe and America, inherited elements of Chinese aesthetics, and his lived experiences in Hong Kong. These lived experiences included urban life, the changing values of labour within a developing consumer economy, and the cosmopolitan aspiration that accompanied Hong Kong’s rapid modernization. For Ha, sculpture was also a creative and social domain where he established himself as a modern artist in Hong Kong by producing works with a highly individualized visual language. This study thus takes into consideration the social and cultural aspects of the mid-twentieth century Hong Kong art world, and how they, alongside the city’s rapid modernization, found ways into Ha’s sculptures as material, imagery, and process.


Michelle Wun Ting Wong is a PhD candidate in Art History at The University of Hong Kong, exploring the modernity emerging from Post WWII Hong Kong. Her writing has been published in Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art, 1945–1990 (2018) and the journal Southeast of Now (2019). She was previously Researcher at Asia Art Archive, focusing on Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Curatorial projects include Portals, Stories, and Other Journeys at Tai Kwun Contemporary (2021), Afterglow, Yokohama Triennale 2020, and 11th Edition of Gwangju Biennale (2016).

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