14 Nov 2019 ‑ 9 Feb 2020 (everyday) noon ‑ 10pm (10 hours)
Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street Central District, Hong Kong
free
contributed by


The M K Lau Collection, is pleased to present "Irene Chou Rediscovered: Paintings from the M K Lau Collection", a small-scale exhibition that brings awareness, not only to an early Chou masterpiece that has been hidden from public view for decades, but also the scope of the artist’s talent. The exhibition celebrates Chou’s creative journey over a twenty-year period and offers unique insights into the artist’s personality, interests and convictions. Open from Thursday 14 November 2019 to Sunday 9 February 2020 at Duddell’s, with an accompanying talks programme.


Chou's multifaceted and diverse visual language was consistently defined by a level of profound insight that manifested itself in Chou’s art as a unique expression of the spirit of her times, and a representation of a modern woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother and artist.

The recent rediscovery of "Untitled", 1971, is a significant moment in further understanding Chou’s artistic development and adequately paying tribute to a female artist whose forward thinking and creative freedom remains so relevant today. The over four-meter-long painting was specially commissioned in the early 1970s for the Pavilion restaurant in the iconic, and now-demolished, Lee Gardens Hotel in Causeway Bay, at a point when Chou’s individual visual language and confidence as an artist was breaking free. In endorsing the commission of five paintings by Hong Kong artists, Mr J. S. Lee, esteemed art collector and eventual Chairman of the hotel, championed Hong Kong’s incipient New Ink Painting Movement and the independent, modernising thinking of Hong Kong’s artists.

"Untitled", shown to the public for the first time in decades in “Irene Chou Rediscovered: Paintings from the M K Lau Collection", allows a new perspective on how the artist developed and matured her stylistic expression of texture, rhythm and tension to visualise human emotions and spiritual convictions – at once individual and universal. Dramatic and surreal, the painting is a poetic and fantastical depiction of nature that is compositionally dominated by an egg-like shape that emanates distinctly feminine energy and vitality against the dark, twisted tree forms, and piercing angular rocks of the foreground.