The Garden of Joy

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 December, 2010, 12:00am

1/F Lobby, Central Plaza
Until Jan 16, 2011

Is happiness fleeting? This is a question Lucia Cheung poses in her latest solo show, The Garden of Joy, presented by Sino Group's Art in Hong Kong programme.

In Chinese, the ink painter points out, the word 'happiness' is made up of two characters, fai lok, one of which means, literally, 'quick or fast'; while gioia in Italian, besides meaning happy, is also the word for precious stones or beloved.

'So being happy is something precious,' Cheung says. 'But is it because of its brevity that it is precious?'

In her Garden of Joy series, the artist uses hues from her 'dreamlike' palette to create works that are bright, energetic and full of joy. In Dream of Silk Road II (below), for instance, floral patterns emerge from the curvy brushstrokes, as if they are dancing in the wind. In The Pink Dream, although there is less movement, the rectangular blotches - in violet, yellow, red and blue - blend happily with the baby pink background.

'I feel lucky in that the happiness I have has never been brief and the happy moments in my life have never been few. It grows with time,' says the Macau-born Cheung. 'It is precious but never expensive. As long as there is paper and a pen or brush for drawing and painting, happiness flows naturally to me.'

Cheung studied Chinese painting under Yang Shanshen, a master of the Lingnan School, in 1979. She has held exhibitions locally and internationally. One of her murals can be found at the Central MTR station.

The exhibition also showcases works from her In Search of Landscape, Song Offering and Invisible City series. More than 20 of her paintings were up for a charity sale last week; all the proceeds will go to this year's Operation Santa Claus jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and Radio Television Hong Kong.

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