Tsui Tin Yun was born in Shanghai in 1945. He received solid art training from young and studied art and design in university. He was bold and experimental with both his art and design and in exploring different media; hence gaining an important reputation in the field. In 1986, Tsui moved to Hong Kong and worked in an architectural firm, contributing to designs for local landmarks such as Pacific Place and Times Square, before becoming a full-time professional artist.
Tsui’s work combines classical and contemporary elements and juxtaposes conflicting concepts that represent an underlying social commentary. This solo exhibition showcases works from the artist’s personal collection, completed over the past two decades. A few of the pieces were last exhibited in the Hong Kong Central Library in Feburary this year together with works by five other Shanghai-born artists, and/or at a retrospective exhibition at the National Dr Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall in Taipei in November 2015.
Most of the paintings have a neutral, minimalistic palette of delicate greys and pastel shades and a semi-abstract, freehand style, and fall loosely under two categories of Tsui’s work which he’d titled “Abstract Portraits” and “Lost Paradise”. Highlights include “Nude III Peony”, a female nude lying on her side, with her back facing the audience. She is surrounded by black ink wash amidst a sea of browns, with the exception of a peony tattoo painted with realistic details in light pink on her body.
Another highlight is a large-scale collage consisting of 9 individual pieces, each measuring 1 by 1 meter. One of them “Ping Pong Double Happiness” features a clown face with a table tennis ball as his nose and another “Red Eye Disease”, a female face with her right pupil replaced by a red star. Such somber, thought-provoking imageries are characteristic of works from the latter phase of Tsui’s art journey.
While Tsui’s paintings may not fall under traditional notions of beauty, they are mysteriously sensuous and have a compelling, magnetic appeal.