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Hon Chi-fun

Spell of Space

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Hon Chi-fun

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Spell of Space by Hon Chi-fun

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Spell of Space

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Hon Chi-fun

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Overview

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1994

Acrylic on canvas

Unique Work

Dimensions: 102.5cm (H) x 103cm (W) / 40.4" (H) x 40.6" (W)

Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.

Artist Statement

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The painting is stretched. Stretched size: 102.5x103x2cm
As seen in Spell of Space, Hon created radically vulnerable artwork addressing his emotional and romantic feelings, which was as groundbreaking then as it is now.

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Artist Profile

Born: 1922

Hometown: Hong Kong

Based in: Hong Kong

Born in Hong Kong in 1922, and one of Hong Kong’s most iconic artists, Hon Chi-fun, is a self-taught artist who began painting in the 1950s. From an early age he practiced calligraphy and brush work with his siblings on stone slabs. By 1956, he had devoted himself to his art, while working at the Hong Kong General Post Office. It was during this period that he began to study Western art movements and became associated with two other famed Hong Kong artists, Luis Chan and Lui Shou-kwan. In 1964, he co-founded the Circle Art Group (1964-1971), and that same year was awarded the Gold Medal at the Third Hong Kong International Salon of Paintings. After the completion of his definitive work Bath of Fire (1968), a set of three oil and screen prints on canvas, he began his first grand tour of Europe. He visited the Venice Biennale in Italy and Documenta in Germany. In 1969, he was awarded the John D. Rockefeller III Fellowship Fund, and lived in New York for a year, after which he toured South America and India. These experiences abroad and the direct contact with a myriad of artistic traditions served to expand his aesthetic knowledge. Known for his paintings of circles, Hon once declared: “The circle is me.”

When asked to reminisce about the gallery, Hon said that “I remember that it was one morning during the early 1980s when Alice came to visit our studio for the first time. At the time, it was rare that a person of Chinese ethnicity knew how to promote Hong Kong modern art, [and] Mrs. King was [the exception] and a pioneer. She has discovered important artists, who might have otherwise have been forgotten, such as overseas women artists from the early years.” Alisan Fine Arts began showing his work in 1983, and since then has held two solo exhibitions for the artist, in 2000 and 2005 respectively.

Major retrospectives of Hon’s work have been held in 1999 by the University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong, in 2005 at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and in 2007 at the CityU Gallery at the City University of Hong Kong. His works have been collected by Hong Kong Museum of Art; Hong Kong Heritage Museum; University of Hong Kong; Hong Kong Land; Hong Kong MTR Corporation; Deutsche Bank, Hong Kong; National City Bank of Chicago, United States. In the lobby of Jardine House, Hong Kong, hangs a monumental mural-size painting, titled The Making of the Spheres Series (1988), by Hon.


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