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Lam Tung-pang draws on his observations (with photos)

     People in modern times are busy and stressful, and facing an influx of information, they can only glance at what they see rather than really observe. In his latest exhibition, artist Lam Tung-pang shares with us his way of discovering life through observation.

     Featuring an array of works based on Lam's observations of life, culture and the environment, "The Drawing Observatory - Works by Lam Tung-pang" will run from today (February 23) until March 4 at the Exhibition Gallery of Hong Kong Central Library.

     "The Drawing Observatory - Works by Lam Tung-pang" is the third exhibition in the Artists in the Neighbourhood Scheme V organised by the Art Promotion Office (APO) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Lam's "Condition Series", with themes of conservation and the environment, as well as his latest works created in 2011 are on display.

     The exhibition was officially opened today by the Assistant Director (Heritage and Museums) of Leisure and Cultural Services, Dr Louis Ng; the Expert Adviser to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Mr Lui Chun-kwong; Mr Lam; and the Chief Curator of the Art Promotion Office, Ms Lesley Lau.

     After graduating from the Department of Fine Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2002, Lam was awarded a Hong Kong Arts Development Council scholarship and studied for a Master of Fine Arts degree at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in England the following year. In 2005, he was named Hunting Art Prize Young Artist of the Year in London, the first Chinese recipient of the award in the prize's 25-year history. In 2009, he won the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Biennial Award. His art has been exhibited all over the world and collected by various institutions and private collectors in the UK, the US and Hong Kong.

     Lam believes that an artist is an observer who, while not standing on the social front lines, can nevertheless read the world from the fringes and express himself with the power of art to prompt his audience toward introspection and an exploration of society. Observations and expression through artistic creation have always accompanied him. In his works "Condition" and "Vanish", for example, Lam employed a variety of creative methods to produce his interpretations of photos and images in his chosen media. "Tracing the Deers" and "Where are the White Crow?" show his observations of social phenomena, and "Somewhere, Sometime" offers his self-reflections.

     After returning to Hong Kong from his studies in England, Lam set about exploring the territory's small alleys, art museums and other places. Using wooden board, charcoal, light applications of colour and toy models, he has created works that, for example in his "Travel and Leisure 25062010" and "Antique" series, lend an air of antiquity to Chinese culture. To Lam, these explorations of traditional culture do not represent a personal awakening or call of identity, but are rather the product of continuous ruminations on his pursuit of a particular characteristic or quality in paintings and life and a worldview informed by introspection and perseverance. Looking at his works, viewers may come to the realisation that this sense of antiquity can be found in their own neighbourhoods and immediate lives.

     With the support of St. James' Settlement, the APO organised a workshop for Lam to go into the community of Tin Shui Wai and show his passionate love for life by collaborating with 20 Tin Shui Wai children. Together they created a large painting that is actually a sketch of observations of the landscape and life in the community. This painting is also a highlight of the exhibition.

     Following the exhibition at the Hong Kong Central Library, some of the exhibits will be moved to the Atrium, G/F, Tin Chak Shopping Centre, in Tin Shui Wai, for display from March 7 to 15.

     This year, the APO has launched the Design Partnership Scheme to enable effective adoption of art in the community through the participation of local designers and integrating the creative power of various media. With the assistance of Clement Yick as the design partner to provide visual image design for this exhibition, and through interaction and participation at different levels, the exhibition opens up a brand new artistic experience for its visitors.

     A Braille version of the exhibition pamphlet is available. Free guided tours will also be offered to the public and school groups. For bookings, please contact the APO's Community Art Team on 3101 2712 or 3101 2713.

     The Hong Kong Central Library is located at 66 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay. Its Exhibition Hall is open daily from 10am to 8pm. The Tin Chak Shopping Centre is located at 77 Tin Shui Road, Tin Shui Wai. It is open daily from 10am to 10pm. Admission is free.

     For details of the exhibition and related activities, visit the APO's webpage at

Ends/Thursday, February 23, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:32


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