Disabled artist turns to calligraphy, then Mao, for therapy

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 April, 2007, 12:00am

Being physically challenged did not stop Wang Xunliang (right) from being a successful artist. But the 45-year-old Hong Kong painter's art does not deal with his disability. Instead, he draws playful ironic pictures of Chairman Mao Zedong playing sports.

His recently opened exhibition at the Art Beatus Gallery called Yun-Dong features 19 works, including semi-comical portraits of Mao doing tai chi, riding a unicycle and playing ping pong.

'To me, Chairman Mao is someone who changed history, and I have the utmost respect for him,' Wang said. 'But I wish he'd put his focus on healthy sports and exercise rather than on his political movement.'

Born in 1962 in Fujian province , Wang suffered from polio.

'A Chinese doctor told me learning calligraphy would help me build a stronger body, so I started teaching myself, got hooked, and later moved on to painting.'

The exhibition continues until April 20. The Art Beatus Gallery is at 35 Graham Street in Central.