Adding some colour and surrealism to the ACP is US-based Chinese artist Dong Kingman, who was commissioned by Salon Films' boss Charles Wang to add a splash of canvas creativity to Hong Kong's new airport. UNITED States-based Chinese artist, 82-year-old Dong Kingman returned to Hong Kong recently with a series of water colours depicting the future of Hong Kong. The series shows the completed Airport Core Programme, from Chek Lap Kok to Hong Kong island. The idea came from Salon Films boss Charles Wang, whose father and Mr Kingman worked together in the 1950s during the filming of the Hong Kong movie, The World Of Suzie Wong. ''In the beginning, Charles Wang could not convince me to do the paintings,'' Mr Kingman said. It was only after Mr Wang showed Mr Kingman one of the films his firm had produced for the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office (NAPCO) that he became interested in the idea. Born of Hong Kong parents in Oakland, California, in 1911, the then-named Tsang King-man came to Hong Kong at the age of five with his parents, where he attended Lingnan Grammar School. His headmaster, Szeto Wai, had studied painting in Paris and recognised the youngster's ability. In 1929, just prior to the stock market crash and Great Depression, his family moved back to the US. As an artist for the late US president Franklin Roosevelt's Works Projects Administration (WPA), Mr Kingman met the president's wife, Eleanor. Mrs Roosevelt wrote about Mr Kingman's work in her newspaper column, and the artist penned a letter of thanks to the president's wife. After that letter, he was pulled from the regular army just at the start of World War II and drafted into the newly formed Office of Strategic Services (OSS), where he used his painting skills to create maps and charts. During his service, he became a general. The OSS evolved into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). On a recent trip to China, Mr Kingman visited Beijing, Guilin and Xian, with a group of art students. After his stopover in Hong Kong, he plans to visit Japan and Taiwan. A former art teacher at Columbia University, Mr Kingman now runs an art school in the US. His work is exhibited in all art galleries across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He is also the author of Paint a Yellow Tiger, a book which tells in paintings stories of his colourful life. ''I am a painter,'' he said. ''I can get very excited and do a lot of crazy things.'' Mr Kingman's has the ability to encapsulate a comprehensive scene and add his own amusing detail. On his painting of the Chek Lap Kok airport, there is a launch pad at the western end with a rocket marked ''To Mars''. Another painting depicts the route of the North Lantau Expressway, with a giant Buddha bearing the facial features of Mr Wang.