QK- The Curious Object - Chan Yuk Keung

Chan Yuk Keung

Aug 23 – Oct 12, 2003

Following on from May Fung's Everything starts from "Here" and The Red Twenty Years of Ricky Yeung Sau-churk, Para Site Art Space has now invited artist Chan Yuk-keung for their third research-based retrospective projects on Hong Kong artists of the Eighties.

In 1983, Chan graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and later went to study in the US. He returned to Hong Kong in the late '80s with an M.A. degree and has since been teaching in the Fine Art Dept of the CUHK. As a student growing up under the then prevailing notions of "Combining East and West" in the '60s and '70s, these were also principles that Chan shared with his Chinese Modernist mentors. It was only while establishing himself as an artist in the '90s that he found himself struggling between internationalization and localization. Forced, but motivated, under these circumstances, Chan would generate his own brand of philosophy in mixed media as a contemporary art practice. His approach to art as an intellectual exercise of knowledge has been widely disseminated through his lectures, writings and talks. Consequently his influence and teachings, that reaches beyond the CUHK, has given him the label of the "academic." As a scholar in university, Chan felt the obligation to pursue general value and accountability for art in society, whereby Art - in the dilemma between personal enjoyment and social engagement - speaks a common condition that everyone who is dedicated to art will encounter. Therefore Chan was chosen as the subject of this study, not because his status, but because of his thoughts and dreams that both exemplify and belong to his generation. If the duty of the artist is in producing art, will producing more artists and more conditions for artists then become superfluous? Is the imbalance between one's position in art world and one's own artistic achievements doomed in Hong Kong?

A Specimen Collection of Chan, only looks back on Chan's artistic development of the past twenty years, but as the third instalment of the Hong Kong Artist Series. The project researcher Anthony Leung Po Shan presents a 'case study' analysing the profession of a Hong Kong artist. With a video documentation of his 'work-in-progress' at the Hong Kong Art Centre, directed by Yeung Yang, the 'collection' is a mid-term report on Chan, from both an insider's and an outsider's point of view.