Realms of art from the ages

Realms of art from the ages

The Fine Art Exhibition was a treasure trove of the old and new where antiques vied for attention with contemporary art

Ten junior reporters went on a guided tour of the 2010 Fine Art Asia exhibition at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre earlier this month. Here they describe their experiences and favourite works of art.

Ruby Leung and Debbie Wong at the Caldwell Snyder Gallery

The San Francisco-based gallery had a fantastic collection of works, representing contemporary artists from around the world.

Our favourite was a bronze sculpture called Nerati II (left). It shows five large seashells balancing on top of one another on a plate.

It looked like a simple yet elegant sculpture, but gallery consultant Lisa Archambeau told us the artists, Luis Montoya and Leslie Ortiz, had to employ a complex procedure to make it. Once they filed the five seashells down to shape, they painted in finer details with a white anti-oxidant chemical.

Nola Yip, Tsau Jin-cheng and Leung Chung-yan at the Gallery Michael Goedhuis

The story behind Mountainscape, a 2005 painting by mainland artist Qiu Deshu, testifies to the saying "One picture is worth a thousand words". Qiu lived through the Cultural Revolution and expresses in painting what words cannot explain. He uses ink, acrylic and thinly crushed Xuan paper to create landscapes.

The gallery's owner Michael Goedhuis (above) told us the cracks in Qiu's landscapes symbolise the flaws of human nature. With time the artist's painting became more colourful and the cracks less obvious.

But time does not heal all wounds and the artist's scars still show up in his work.

Eina Gurung at Adam Williams Fine Art

I loved the portrait of Alexandrine Le Normant d'Etiolles (left), the daughter of Madame de Pompadour, the famous mistress of French king Louis XV.

The oil-on-canvas painting was done by Francois Boucher in 1749, when Alexandrine was only six. It shows the girl feeding a bird out of its cage in a symbol of freedom and independence. Sadly, Alexandrine died before she turned 10.

Jacqueline Leung Ching-tung and Nicole Chui at Plum Blossoms

Plum Blossoms Gallery specialises in traditional Chinese art: beautiful old carpets, vests, robes and antique sculptures.

We especially loved a pair of embroidered silk boots (left) from a 4th century tomb in China's Taklamakan desert. They were made of deer skin and goat hide. The boots belonged to a lady with bound feet, which explains why they are so tiny.

Managing director Stephen McGuinness explained that old textiles must be kept away from direct light, especially sunlight, to prevent fading and discoloration.

Janet Tam Ka-wing at Grotto Fine Art

Virtual City: Landscape (left), a painting by Hong Kong artist Lam Yau-sum, depicts a computer circuit board.

Lam used threads to mark general outlines before applying enamel paint.

His artwork seems to show the world in a futuristic exploration of time and space.



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