PATRIARCH Mr Deng Xiaoping's health is excellent and he still plays bridge and does daily exercises, according to his eldest daughter, Ms Deng Lin. ''My father has absolutely no health problems and I am baffled by reports about his sicknesses,'' said Ms Deng, who is in Hongkong for the first solo exhibition of her artwork. ''He goes about his usual activities, including bridge games and walks. Because the weather is too cold, however, he has not been swimming lately.'' Ms Deng, 51, said the patriarch was enthusiastic about visiting Hongkong once the territory's sovereignty reverted to China. Commenting on reports that speculators of Hongkong stocks might have circulated rumours about Mr Deng's health, Ms Deng said: ''They are most irresponsible. How can they confuse people like this?'' Mr Deng, who turns 89 in August, has not been seen in public since the eve of Lunar New Year in late January. Ms Deng, who has just finished a tour of Italy, said she was not aware of any travel plans by her father for the summer. A frequent visitor to Hongkong, Ms Deng said she found the territory ''very pretty''. ''However, it is too small,'' she said, adding that in China there was a much bigger variety in landscapes and scenes. On Thursday she will open an exhibition of 11 silk tapestries in an art gallery in Central. Collectively entitled Distant Echoes, the tapestries take as their inspiration artefacts dating from more than 6,000 years ago. ''I am inspired by artefacts from the later Stone Age because they evoke a wealth of emotions in a very direct and simple way,'' said Ms Deng, a career painter of traditional Chinese schools who has been doing silk tapestries since 1991. She first produces a water-and-ink painting, an amplified version of which skilled artisans in a Jiangsu factory go on to embroider into a multi-coloured tapestry. The entire process takes up to two years. Her exhibits in Hongkong are either 183 centimetres square or 183 cm by 366 cm. Base prices are $180,000 and $350,000 respectively. Ms Deng, who works in an office at the Research Institute of Chinese Painting in Beijing, said her professional habits were often dictated by moods. ''I do not follow a routine,'' she said. ''My works are soon finished if the mood is right.'' Noted for her concern for charity, Ms Deng was yesterday guest of honour at a garden party for a group of Hongkong children suffering from Down's Syndrome. The event was organised by the president of the Hongkong Down's Syndrome Association, Mr David Tang. Mr Deng relies heavily upon his five children, who travel abroad frequently, for first-hand information about world affairs.