Ancient art form kept alive

Ancient art form kept alive

Two liuli artists brought their Chinese crystal pieces to Hong Kong recently, sharing visions of a laid-back and peaceful life

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Junior reporters Pearl Tin and Stanley Lam at the exhibition
Junior reporters Pearl Tin and Stanley Lam at the exhibition
Photo: Stanley Lam
Liuligongfang founders, Loretta Yang and Chang Yi, held their first joint exhibition this year. The show featured liuli (an ancient Chinese art form using crystal) masterpieces, and took place at the City Hall from March 26 to 31. Two junior reporters went to the exhibition, Uncovering Liuli in this Mortal World, and admired its five zones: Formless, But Not Without Form; Enlightenment; One Hundred Years, a LIULI Flower Blooms; Free Mind; and A Realm of Zen Within Fire. They also conducted e-mail interviews with the busy artists.


Loretta Yang

Loretta Yang, an award-winning Taiwanese actress and professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, believes Hong Kong is a unique place where East meets West. That's what made it a good choice for the exhibition, she says. The city mirrors her own creative concept: embracing the unique and the new.

Three out of the five sections in the exhibition were created by Yang. In her work, Yang expresses her peaceful thoughts about life.

In her Enlightenment series, she used cold and complicated steel wires combined with liuli to show life's limits, even though the pieces generate a feeling of calm.

Buddhist figures and flowers have been the main themes of Yang's work for the past 25 years. To her, they show all of life's stages: birth, ageing, sickness, and death.

Yang's motto is to never give up. "Once you give up, then everything goes back to zero," she says. "You have to keep moving forward."

In creating art, there are different problems at different stages, she says. All artists can do is face them.

Pearl Tin


Chang Yi

To revive the ancient Chinese art of liuli, Chang Yi, who also teaches at Tsinghua University and is an award-winning Taiwanese director, writer and artist, channelled his creativity into modern liuli art and founded Liuligongfang with Yang in 1971.

"Over the past 25 years, Liuligongfang has branched out onto the world stage," says Chang. The pair's artworks have been displayed at some of the world's most famous museums, such as The Palace Museum in Beijing and the Victoria and Albert in Britain.

Among the five series displayed, Free Mind and A Realm of Zen Within Fire are Yi's creations. Both reflect the artist's laid-back nature, with Free Mind (which takes the form of Buddhist sculptures) keeping mistakes and imperfections in its pieces on purpose.

"[We have] an endless list of goals, and we will not stop until [we meet them]," says Chang of his and Yang's creative path.

Chang says his ideas come from observing all the details that he sees in everyday life.

For aspiring artists, he says, "the first step is finding your own language, so that your art can be created using that language as the medium".

Stanley Lam

Young Post organises regular activities for our junior reporters. If you wish to join, send your name, age, school and contact details to reporters.club@scmp.com with "jun rep application" in the subject field.


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