IT'S not the most appropriate show for the season. After all, Chu Hing-wah's exhibition at Hanart TZ Gallery is a reminder of the dark side of human existence. Chu's large ink-wash paintings, done on traditional Chinese papers, draw us in, like Edvard Munch's depictions of the mad and the bedridden in turn-of-the-century Europe. ''I hear the scream in nature,'' the Norwegian artist said, a statement that would probably not be lost on Chu. From 1960 to 1965, Chu trained in psychiatric nursing in London, before returning to Hong Kong and serving nearly 20 years as staff nurse at Castle Peak Psychiatric Hospital. The figures in his paintings reflect his work - they are isolated, a bit off. Sombre colours add to the mood. Chu's subjects are surrounded by repetitive patterns, such as the tiles on the floor in The Closed Camp and Feeding Chicken, or the walls surrounding a circle of children in Chat, Chat, Chat. They, and pictures like TV Meal, are a grim commentary on our age. But rather than being depressing, these works have a certain beauty, perhaps because the figures have dignity. The exhibition will be on at the gallery, in the Old Bank of China Building, Central, until Friday. ALAS, cult guitarist Robben Ford's proposed January 28 Hong Kong gig has fallen through amid acrimony between Ford's manager and local promoter Peter Lee. The manager apparently demanded US$5,000 (HK$39,000) plus a full-house bonus for the show at the AC Hall, Baptist College. When Lee baulked at the offer, Ford's manager wrote a letter threatening to black-list the promoter throughout the world. The Hong Kong office of GRP Records, Ford's label, sided with Lee, resulting in stalemate. If it is any compensation, another cult blues guitarist, Elvin Bishop, will be at the Jazz Club next month. Last week's article on MTV Unplugged incorrectly identified producer Alex Coletti as Alex Cox. Our apologies.