Where the Sun Sets 《夕陽醉了》- A Solo Exhibition by Koo Mei
Venue: iPreciation (誰先覺), 50 Cuscaden Road, HPL House #01-01, Singapore 249724
Private Preview: Apr 3, 2021 (By Invitation Only)
Exhibition Opens to Public: Apr 5 – Apr 24, 2021
Former starlet and songbird of Hong Kong cinema in the 1950s, Koo Mei’s ink paintings are implicit and exquisite as her vocals and acting. Affectionately known as “the Little Lark”, the on-screen sweetheart stepped away from the limelight in the 1970s and has since soared to greater heights as a prominent ink artist. Where the Sun Sets 夕陽醉了 – A Solo Exhibition by Koo Mei brings together treasured works from 1976 – 2018 which are close to her heart, including a rare ink painting by Zao Wou Ki (in exchange for her work in 1993). It celebrates Koo’s dedication to capturing the otherworldly charm of nature with ink and water.
Born in Guangzhou in 1929 and grown up in Hong Kong, Koo was under the tutelage of several renowned 20th-century ink masters: First, Chao Shao-an in 1963 in Hong Kong; Hu Nien-Tsu and Au Ho-Nien when she was residing in Taiwan in 1969; and later Hong Kong New Ink Movement pioneer Lui Shou-Kwan in 1974. Since the 1970s, Koo’s works hail from the abstract, dynamic and fluid nature of clouds and mists, images she yearned for and frequently dreamt about. Determine not to be bounded by the rigid structures dominating Hong Kong’s landscape; she turned for the picturesque villages, panoramic imageries of mountains, valleys, streams and vast open spaces. Hence, many of her paintings stemmed from her fond childhood memories and playful imaginations of a quaint, mystic realm.
In 1977, she won the prestige Hong Kong Urban Council Fine Arts Award, and the winning painting was subsequently collected by the Hong Kong Art Museum. Her early works received high praises from Asia’s most respected 20th-century masters, Chang Dai-Chien and Zao Wou Ki. 1984 marked a new beginning of her artistic journey when she moved from Hong Kong to Canada, where she resides today. The changes of four seasons and majestic natural wonders in Canada became a major catalyst towards her expansive, ethereal landscapes and misty clouds. Today, at the age of 92, Koo’s works are powerfully evocative, imbued with a sense of tranquillity and wisdom that age over the passage of time.
With works spanning four decades of the artist’s career, the exhibition is set to shed light on Koo’s distinct aesthetic, her mastery in bold, lyrical brushstrokes and her exclusive imaginary world of landscapes. Today, Koo Mei’s works are in the collection of numerous respected private collectors, along with major corporations, museums, galleries and institutions, including Hong Kong Museum of Art, State University of Utah, the Canadian Consulate General, Bank of America, Bank of Australia, Citibank, Hutchison and Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong) Private Limited.
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