The mainland artist who gave Queen Victoria a 'facelift' on Monday with a hammer and a can of red paint had been turned down for the Contemporary Hong Kong Art Biennial Exhibition which opened on the same day. Apparently enraged by the rejection by the Museum of Art, 27-year-old Pun Sing-lui destroyed the plaster sculpture he had entered. His piece, Metabolism, was described as 'something red and sticky . . . a figure sitting on something that could be a toilet', by an organiser. Critics slated his Victoria Park antic as sour grapes or a press gimmick, and noted he was not original. 'When the statue was defaced 20 years ago, it was a symbol of anti-colonialism,' Hong Kong Arts Centre gallery director Oscar Ho Hing-kay said. 'We're getting close to the end of the era of colonialism . . . He chose the wrong lady.' Queen Victoria's face was first vandalised in July 1968 when red paint was smeared on it. Local communists were suspected. In May 1978 gallons of red paint were poured over it. A member of the Hong Kong Young Artists' Association, Pun graduated from the Central College of Arts and Crafts in Beijing before moving here about four years ago. He is in the Eastern Hospital's psychiatric ward. Police are waiting for medical reports before any further action.