Painter of film scenes moves on from triad flicks to period pieces

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 October, 2010, 12:00am


Chow Chun-fai's paintings of film scenes have become more detailed and colourful in recent years, and it's not just that the 30-year-old's technique has got better.

'The DVDs these days look so much clearer than VCDs,' said Chow, who pauses movies and paints what's on the screen, choosing frames with ambiguous subtitles.

His previous works - which have been exhibited in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore and Vienna - were based on contemporary Hong Kong triad films such as Infernal Affairs and A Better Tomorrow.

This time, he's focused on traditional period pieces with a political slant. Stills from The Warlords, Farewell My Concubine and Red Cliff feature in the new series, which the artist hopes can be seen as not just pop art, but social commentary on history.

Chow considers local cinema an integral part of Hong Kong culture, especially the subtitles.

'The difference in tone between the Chinese and English subtitles can be glaring,' he said.

'And it sometimes leads to two different interpretations of the scene.'

The exhibition, 'Reproduction of Reproduction', will run at Hanart TZ Gallery, Central, until October 23.