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Thunderbolts and Cicada Chirps —
The Art and Nature of Lau Kam Hung

Related Exhibition:
Silver Lining" Lau Kam Hung Solo Exhibition 
2023.12.05 - 2023.12.30
Click Here for Details

"Do not heed the rustling of leaves as you pass through the woods,
Why not chant and sing, and leisurely make your way?


With a bamboo staff and straw sandals, lightness surpasses that of a horse.
Who fears? In a straw cloak, one can live carefree amidst misty rain.


The biting spring breeze awakens the drinker,
Slightly chilly, the sunlight slants upon the mountain's peak.


Looking back, it has always been desolate and bleak,
Returning home, there is neither wind nor rain, nor clear skies."


Su Shi, "Ding Feng Bo"

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Silver light , 2023

Graphite , silver paint on Silver-Sprinkled paper

100 x 70cm

In "Silver Light”, Lau depicts a scene in Hong Kong after Typhoon signal No. 10. In the painting, a tree branch lies horizontally on the ground, while another branch hangs in the air like a reflection in water. The branches and scattered leaves on both sides of the road intertwine, creating a visually intricate texture. The artwork is awe-inspiring, showcasing the resilience and strength of trees that can withstand the onslaught of a typhoon without falling. The urban and natural landscapes blend together after being moistened by rain, bringing a unique poetic atmosphere to Hong Kong after the baptism of wind and rain.

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Pines on Tolo Highway(II), 2023

Graphite , Silver paint on Silver-Sprinkled paper

136 x 66 cm

Similarly, " Pines on Tolo Highway(II)" depicts the pine trees that the artist passes by daily and that grow alongside the Tolo Harbour highway. In traditional Chinese culture, pine trees symbolise perseverance and resilience due to their evergreen nature, often appearing in literati poetry and paintings to represent noble character. Lau brings this traditional concept into the present, bearing witness to the group of pine trees growing along the highway. Despite facing endless exhaust emissions every day, they never bow their heads and silently persist, diligently fulfilling their responsibility in maintaining the urban ecology. One of Lau's strengths lies in his ability to "see the big in the small." Through observing the pine trees he encounters daily while on the car, he experiences the reverence that ancient people had for pine trees and extends their philosophy to the urban scenery in his own daily life.

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Thunderbolts and Cicada Chirps , 2023

Graphite , Silver paint on Silver-Sprinkled paper

100 x 70cm

Lau's artworks represent a personal dialogue between himself and nature. His love for nature stems from his understanding of the cycles of blossoming and falling leaves in trees, which has provided him with spiritual and emotional enlightenment about the truths of life. The title of the artwork, " Thunderbolts and Cicada Chirps," implies two completely different weather conditions and landscapes. The painting depicts an aerial view of intertwined dry branches and lush foliage, reflecting the aesthetics of "between withering and flourishing." The branches spread outward like lightning across the sky, and the dense tree shade evokes thoughts of cicadas dwelling within. Rainy days and sunny days, bare branches and green leaves—this is a reflection of life. The beauty of life lies in the interplay between withering and flourishing, in that precious struggle and pursuit.

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Big-leaved Fig , 2023

Graphite , Silver paint on Silver-Sprinkled paper

136 x 130 cm

Taking another look at " Big-leaved Fig," it is a painting that depicts several large Big-leaved Fig trees in the artist's residential area. The white border frame in the painting perfectly showcases the two forms of the trees—lush with branches and leaves, and the scattered falling leaves—simultaneously in one composition, creating a unique visual effect. The artwork portrays the perspective of looking up at the trees, with the gaze following the raised branches up to the mottled green leaves and the gently shimmering sunlight at the treetop. In this way, Lau's landscape painting goes beyond simply depicting the appearance and characteristics of nature; it aims to connect with the infinite sky and even the vastness of the universe. It is a reflection on all things in the world, seeing through the limitations of humanity and the boundlessness of the world. As Zhuangzi said, "To know the limit of what one cannot know is the ultimate." What an artist can do may be to continue learning and reshaping oneself, constantly pursuing personal ideals. In the end, we will all reach the distant shore that belongs to us.

The relationship between humans and nature has always been closely intertwined. Today, people's reflection on nature has unconsciously integrated into urban life. Whether it's the century-old trees standing beside the streets or the young trees neatly lined along the highways, we can find traces of nature everywhere in our communities. The relationship between the city and nature is both a struggle and a complement. In this exhibition, Lau Kam Hung explores how contemporary individuals can find self-realisation and a deeper understanding of all things in these seemingly different spaces.

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