The Unified Stroke

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 November, 2008, 12:00am

University Museum and Art Gallery

Until Jan 4

Henry Lo Hon-yiu admits that when he was an undergraduate reading philosophy and political science at the University of Hong Kong, he 'very rarely' visited its museum. Still, the barrister avows that he has had an interest in the arts for some time. More specifically, he has long been fascinated by his late father's calligraphy - to the point that he was inspired to create Chinese calligraphic works of his own.

Forty-one of those works are the subject of The Unified Stroke, at the University of Hong Kong's Museum and Art Gallery. The product of a self-taught calligrapher whose methods some would deem controversial (for instance, his penchant for 'writ[ing] on paper dangling loosely in the air' rather than laid out on a table), they also are open to interpretations that may be described as unconventional.

Lo is unperturbed by his reputation for being a maverick. As far as he is concerned, 'You see what you see.'

'It's all a matter of personal interpretation and evocation,' he says. 'A viewer sees what he or she sees, even something pictorial.'

So if someone sees a mountain in his Chinese character for litigation, he's happy.

Curator Joan Ho Yi-hsing says Lo 'doesn't necessarily want [people] to appreciate his art. [Instead], he wants to challenge the visitors and get them to think.'

The viewer may also detect the artist's frame of mind and emotional state in his work.

And although Lo says he is drawn by ideas, he also talks about how strong emotions drive his creative instincts - so much so that when he is producing his calligraphy, he says, 'My mind and my body, the brush and the paper, become one unified whole.'

Mon-Sat, 9.30am-6pm; Sun, 1pm-6pm. University of Hong Kong, 94 Bonham Rd, Pok Fu Lam. Inquiries: 2241 5512