Artist's works record a city lost

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 June, 2009, 12:00am

Kong Kai-ming is not just an artist, he's a historian. For five decades, he's been capturing old Hong Kong on canvass and his efforts have won him the Bronze Bauhinia Star, and one of his albums is even kept at 10 Downing Street. More than 60 nostalgic pencil sketches - from the HSBC building to the old Tsim Sha Tsui train station - have been on display at the Gallery by the Harbour in Harbour City since Thursday. 'I call these works history records not artworks,' Kong said. 'Nowadays, I see many young people fighting to preserve some of the so-called historic buildings, but to me, it is useless since many buildings that really captured the essence of our unique colonial past have already been demolished.'

At 77, Kong isn't considering retirement. In fact, he might give up the pencil for a pen. 'I am writing a novel based on my father, who ... lived through ... the late Qing dynasty, the Kuomintang era and Communism.'

The show continues until July 2.