This public art project seeks to preserve traditional wisdom and engage the community with craft production by integrating it into modern life. To bridge the gap between modern development and cultural traditions, artist To Wun drew inspiration from the work of writer Ge Liang. He created a kinetic sculpture modelled after a traditional lion head, often seen in traditional lion dance performances, and invites the audience to explore heritage and its cultural significance. Meanwhile, Ge Liang’s literary work The Expression of Islands reflects on how modern life has become disconnected and segregated from tradition.
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Louis To is a self-taught artist who learnt and cultivated his skills by studying the artworks of other masters. As a highly versatile artist, his creations encompass a broad spectrum, ranging from Eastern and Western paintings to sculptures. Additionally, he explores and leverages contemporary art techniques to reimagine traditional craftsmanship, such as sugar blowing and bamboo sculpting. Louis began his career in the mid-1990s. His paintings have earned him the recognition as the winner of the “Phillippe Charriol Foundation” Competition for three consecutive years spanning from 1992-1994. In 1996 and 1998, he showcased his works at the Hong Kong Museum of Art for the “Contemporary Art Biennale ”. In a significant milestone, Louis held his first major solo exhibition at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in 1998. His artistic journey continued to flourish as he participated in the renowned "Inside Out: New Chinese Art" show at New York MoMA’s PS1 in 2000. He also held several exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai and Zhongshan, with some of his pieces being collected by the Bahamian Embassy. Moreover, Louis devoted himself to mastering and preserving two ancient crafts of intangible Chinese cultural heritage: candy blowing and traditional bamboo sculpting. From 2013 to 2019, he was commissioned to create the leading Qilin of the “Cheung Chau Bun festival” (also known as the Tai Ping Ching Chiu). As it rains quite often during the festival, in 2015, Louis invented a method to render the painted paper covering the bamboo sculpture entirely waterproof. To test the effectiveness of this technical breakthrough, he swam with the Qilin in the sea. Subsequently, he went on to introduce the ritual dancers to perform sea ceremonies.
Ge Liang (b. 1978) obtained his Bachelor of Arts and PhD Degree from the University of Hong Kong. Currently a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, his works have gained popularity internationally and have been translated into English, French, Russian, Japanese and Korean. He has been honoured with awards including the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards, the 1st Hong Kong Bookprize, Taiwan Unitas Literature Awards and Taiwan Liang Shiqiu Literature Awards. Some of his works have been selected for the inclusion in the “Contemporary Chinese Fiction” series, the “21st Century Anthology of Chinese Literature”, the “2008, 2009 & 2015 Ranking of Chinese Fiction”, and the “2015 Eslite Chinese Books Selection”. The novel " Rosefinch" was selected as one of the " Yazhou Zhoukan Top Ten Chinese Novels" in 2009. In early 2016, Ge Liang once again achieved this prestigious honour with his new work, " Northern Kite".