I recently caught up with veteran painter Irene Chou, who flew in from Brisbane to open a show at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. Although Chou is 80 and requires wheelchair assistance since suffering a stroke in 1992, she is as feisty as ever, painting every day because she 'wants to be a self-sufficient woman in the millennium'. It's a 10-year retrospective for the Shanghai-born painter. The entire Pao gallery bursts with so much energy from her abstract ink and colour paintings that I can feel her enthusiasm in the room. The huge works on display, inspired by her theme of 'The Universe Is My Heart, My Heart Is The Universe', so vividly express the delight and depth of the cosmos that gazing at them has given me some new found thoughts on life - we are just a tiny part of a big picture. I'd suggest all art lovers meet Chou in person, and be infected by her great sense of humour and zest for life. Tomorrow, 2.30pm, at the Pao Galleries of the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Harbour Rd, Wan Chai. Free. Inquiries: 2582 0200. Until Mar 19.