Supervisor: Prof. David Clarke and Prof. Q.L. Wan
As little academic research on the history of Hong Kong art has been undertaken, there has not been a complete history on Hong Kong art. The purpose of this thesis is to offer an academic study on early twentieth century Hong Kong art and fill the gaps in the subject through detailed research.
This thesis comprises five chapters: The first chapter deals with mid-nineteenth century trade painting and calendar poster painting in the beginning of the twentieth century, the two earliest categories of art where Western ideas on art are found. The identity of Lamqua and the art of Kwan Wai Nung will be discussed in this chapter. The next chapter gives an account of the local artists who had either received their art training directly in Western countries or acquired knowledge in Western art through studying with artists who returned from abroad. The artists that I am going to talk about include Wong Chiu Foon, Chui Tung Pai, Hong Chen, Qiu Daiming, Wong Siu Ling, Li Tiefu and his followers. Chapter three investigates landscape painting, a genre in which most Hong Kong artists were interested. Works by Lee Byng and Luis Chan will be studied comprehensively as they were the major landscapists in the early twentieth century. The problem in utilizing nude models, the subject of chapter four, accounts for the scarcity of nude painting in Hong Kong during that time. The last chapter focuses on genre painting. Works by Yee Bon and Ng Po Wan will be thoroughly examined.
In addition, appendices on the biographies of Lee Byng, Yee Bon and Luis Chan, the three major artists who practiced painting in Western media in Hong Kong during this period, will also be attached to the thesis.