This Exhibition Has Ended

April 17, 2012
August 12, 2012
Wait Family Gallery, Floor 5

A distinguished educator and calligrapher, Wong Chai Lok has had a long and successful career in the promotion of primary, secondary, professional, and continuing education in Hong Kong. Among his many public and private posts, he served as Inspector of Schools and Headmaster of Government Schools.

Even in retirement Wong Chai Lok has continued to lecture on a variety of topics related to education, while at the same time gaining recognition for his achievements in the art of Chinese calligraphy.

Currently he serves as president of the Hong Kong Lan Ting Society and the Lok Tian Chinese Calligraphy Society, both distinguished organizations that promote the practice and appreciation of the art of writing. Combining his passions for calligraphy and teaching, Wong has given countless public workshops and had numerous exhibitions of his work around the world. In 2009, he received the Medal of Honor awarded by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Calligraphy has been revered for thousands of years in China and its practice is closely associated with the life of the scholar. The pictorial nature of Chinese written language along with the expressive potential of the pliable Chinese brush contributed to calligraphy’s status as the highest among art forms. Whether through the precision of seal script, based on the most ancient forms of writing, or the elegant formality of clerical and standard scripts, or the unrestrained appearance of cursive script, brushwork is considered to both trace and reveal a calligrapher’s moral and intellectual character and refinement.

In terms of content, a calligraphic work of art often presents a classic poem or portion of text from the past or, as in many of the works shown here, can feature an original poem or commentary by the calligrapher. This exhibition presents the extraordinary grace and strength of Wong Chai Lok’s poetry and calligraphy across the full range of traditional Chinese calligraphic styles. We are grateful to the artist and his family for lending these works for the education and enjoyment of our visitors.

Ellen Avril
Chief Curator and Curator of Asian Art