Art Collection

Online Gallery for Art Collection

The contemporary art collection which is exhibited at the Yuen Campus in Hong Kong, comprises artworks from global artists including those from the U.S., Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea and India, to name a few.

Click on the names of artists below to view the art collection.

Title: Peela Heera, 2018

One of the most influential artists of his generation, Rasheed Araeen is a London-based artist, activist, writer, and curator. Araeen originally trained as an engineer before turning his focus to art-making. From the civil engineering training, he frequently employs geometric, architectural forms—like those found in Peela Heera—to address equality in society and art history. Today Araeen is considered a key figure in minimalist British sculpture. However, in the 1960s, he was largely excluded from this movement. As such, he developed an activist stance challenging Eurocentric views. Araeen founded the journals Black Phoenix, Third Text, and Third Text Asia, all of which address and establish the importance of the work of minority artists in global histories of art. His work, Peela Heera speaks to his engineering background and themes of structural integrity with its bisected geometric shapes that resemble the lattice structure of bridges. Though the piece is mounted on the wall, its sculptural presence highlights how Araeen’s work continually challenges the limits of the two-dimensional painted canvas.

Title: Western City Gate #2, 2017

Beijing-based artist Cui Jie received a degree in oil painting from the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou in 2006. Cui identifies as a member of China’s “Post-80’s” generation. She uses her painting practice to interpret rapid urbanization in China and the resulting changes to the cityscapes in which she has lived. In her paintings, Cui combines different urban constructions—apartment buildings, skyscrapers and public monuments—in new, often otherworldly configurations that reflect her fascination with utopian and dystopian visions of the urban fabric. Her art embraces changing cityscapes and anachronism, referencing various artistic and architectural movements including Bauhaus, Chinese propaganda, Japanese Metabolism and Soviet communist architecture. In this way, Cui’s works meld past, present, and future in their sculptural painted forms.

Title: Anesthesia, c. 1955-58

Miyoko Ito spent her early childhood with her family in Japan, where she learned calligraphy and painting, both of which influenced her work as an artist. Upon returning to the United States, she attended University of California, Berkeley, where she studied watercolor painting. Just before her graduation in 1942, she was imprisoned in a Japanese-American internment camp. Upon her release, she continued her studies first at Smith College and then transferred to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Ito transitioned from watercolor to oil painting in the late 1940s. Anesthesia shows her use of bold colors and abstract shapes that seemingly reference the body. Painted later in Ito’s career, Untitled (116) speaks to the signature pastel palette she frequently employed in her later work and includes characteristic bands of ombré colors. Variously referred to as abstracted landscapes and also dressers or wardrobes, the works create an intimacy with the viewer. Drawing on her Japanese heritage, each work contains a mistake, a passage where it seems as if a thread has broken off from the painted shape.

Though Ito’s work often appeared in major exhibitions during her lifetime, she received little critical attention until well after her death. Recently, scholars have begun to rediscover her mastery and unique style.

Title: Selection of Untitled Works, 1958-59

Li Yuan-chia was among a group of Kuomintang refugees who arrived in Taiwan in 1949.  A student of Li Chung-sheng (known as the father of abstract art in Taiwan), Li co-found the Dong Fang Group (also known as the Eastern Art Group東方畫會) in 1956.  At Dong Fang, he became known as one of the ‘8 Great Outlaws'.  He then moved to Italy in the early 1960s. From there, Li found his way to the UK where he would eventually settle for the remainder of his life and never return to Taiwan.

Some of the earliest examples of abstract painting demonstrate how Li pioneered combinations of Chinese pictorial and philosophical traditions with Western abstract painting. Li cast off realist depictions to pursue renderings of beauty in its purity and simplicity. 

Title: Harvest No. 1, 2014

Liu Wei is a foremost member of the generation of artists who participated in Beijing’s highly experimental, underground art scene of the 1990s. Liu graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou in 1996. Well known for his rebellious and unconventional approach to art-making, Liu routinely makes works that are defiantly non-representational. While this work’s title likens it to a field of golden wheat, or even a Socialist Realist depiction of the countryside, its simple assemblage of foam, wood, and canvas undercuts any sense of monumentality. The jagged cut along its bottom third suggests contours of land forms, but the work as a whole remains a landscape that is neither urban nor rural, and ultimately of no particular place. With its sheer materiality and lack of reference points, the work asks the viewer to focus on pure form. 

Title: Chronicle Compression, 2018

Hong Kong-based artist, Andrew Luk’s work investigates how civilization is positioned in relationship to nature. Luk graduated graduated from the New England School of Art and Design (NESAD) in Boston, Massachusetts with a BFA in 2010. In the same year, he also graduated from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts with a BA in European History. His artworks often employ unconventional materials to consider how human activity and systems of entropy and preservation impact the spaces that surround us, be those natural or manmade.

Chronicle Compression explores liminal spaces by making rubbings of overlooked surfaces on sites found within the University of Chicago Yuen Campus in Hong Kong. In order to make the work, Luk and his team made aluminum rubbings of different parts of the University’s Heritage architecture. From the Royal Engineer’s symbol to the building’s hearth, Luk documents and displays the multiple histories and uses of the site within a single work. Through archiving and documenting this site’s varied histories in visual forms, Luk explored the ways in which time has become inscribed within the site’s materiality and can, in turn, be transferred to the materials of his work.

Title: He Just Snapped, 1995

Jim Lutes is a Chicago-based painter whose work questions how figuration and abstraction can coexist within a single artwork. Lutes moved to Chicago in 1980 to attend graduate school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he received his MFA in 1982.

He Just Snapped considers the current state of the American Dream. The painting depicts the home where Lutes grew up in Washington State. For members of the Baby Boomer generation, home ownership—especially a home in the suburbs like the one depicted in this painting—was supposed to guarantee a kind of ideal American life and the pursuit of the so-called American Dream. The red marks on the canvas’s surface disrupt its idyllic homestead.  Furthermore, these marks reference the history of abstract painting in the United States, importantly Abstract Expression, and its influence on Lutes training. The dissonance between the surface markings and the house’s façade conveys the disconnect between reality and perception, abstraction and figuration, the American Dream and lived experiences of middle-class families.

Title: Work 66-7A, 1966

Best known for her large-scale ceramic works, Kimiyo Mishima is simultaneously interested in and terrified of the circulation of information, specifically as embodied in newspapers and magazines—two materials that feature prominently in her works. A self-trained artist working in postwar Osaka, Mishima worked in close proximity to the Gutai Artists Association throughout the 1960s. However, she never joined their ranks, explaining that Yoshihara Jiro was too paternalistic. Instead of working with gestural abstraction characteristic of Gutai, Mishima’s early works employed collage along with color block painting.

Work 66-7A represents Mishima’s pop-infused collages that draw out a tension between postwar reconstruction in Japan, mass consumption, and current events. She combined pages culled from English language newspapers, Life Magazine, and Japanese advertisements, often painting over layers of text and images. Even though Mishima insists that she only picks images that she visually responded to in her collages, the cacophony of visual information emphasizes the contradictions between human suffering and consumerism in modern life. The repetition of images features heavily in Mishima’s collages, especially the repetition of advertisements.

In Work 66-7A, Mishima meticulously pasted the same images or advertisements in groupings across the canvas. Foregrounding these repetitions in print media, her collages emphasize the superabundance of information and how quickly it is consumed and thrown away.

She, herself, has observed, “Any and all information turns to garbage the instant one finishes reading it.” As her collages developed throughout the 1960s, the layers she adhered to the surface increased, suggesting an information overload inundating society.

Title: Waiting for a Friend (without Appointment), 2006/2014/2018

One of the foremost conceptual artists in Hong Kong, Pak Sheung Chuen moved to Hong Kong in 1984 and graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2002. Pak represented Hong Kong at the Venice Biennale in 2009.  For artists like Pak, a work of art is not necessarily defined by its objecthood. Instead, it can be defined by the artist’s process and the actions he performs.  This work demonstrates Chuen’s approach to performance as poetry of everyday life within Hong Kong’s dense metropolis that often engages friends and bystanders. The textual ephemera and photograph document waiting as a mundane and universal human action. 

The photographs document three occasions upon which the artist engaged in waiting.  In Waiting for a Friend (without Appointment), the artist waited in a subway station without making plans with anyone, and, entirely by chance, saw one of his friends passing by at 16:43 (a fortuitous time commemorated by its own print).  For Waiting for a Friend (without Appointment, Airport Version), the artist waited at the Hong Kong airport arrivals hall for three days, but to no avail.  Waiting for All the People to Sleep was performed at night, outside of an apartment building where the artist waited for all residents to turn off their lights. Interspersed among documentation from these three performances is a reproduction of the parable of the Good Samaritan (a story about waiting), and the artist’s postulation that time becomes meaningful by waiting.  There is also a diptych of two pieces of paper, one on which the artist wrote the names of all friends he could remember and another designated for friends whose names he could not recall.  Presenting the materials as a constellation, the artist invites multiple possible connections across the words and images.

Title: I Want You to Stay With Me, 2013/2014

Imran Qureshi is an artist based in Lahore where he studied miniature painting at the National College of Arts. Qureshi addresses contemporary issues of violence and his country’s histories through both classically inspired miniature painting and contemporary large-scale installations. Qureshi is a crucial figure in Pakistani art, and has received the Deutsche Bank Award for Artist of the Year and the Art Now Lifetime Achievement Award. Trained in the Mughal tradition of detailed miniature painting, Qureshi applies this historical artistic method to the contexts of contemporary violence and societal conflict. In his larger canvases and installations, he combines abstract forms reminiscent of blood spatters with detailed, plant-like attributes that harken back to the miniature tradition while speaking to contemporary issues like terrorism, war, mass shootings, and religious conflict.

Qureshi first introduced blood-red paint into his palette following bombings in Lahore to confront violence and death in his work. His 2013-2014 paintings, I Want You to Stay With Me, employ this blood-like paint in a combination of abstract splatter and vein-or plant-like detail. In past installations of these works, Qureshi has allowed the paint to drip off the canvas and mark the wall and floor, combining his preoccupations with traditional painting on canvas and contemporary, site-specific installation.

Title: Untitled, 1968

Barbara Rossi is a member of the iconic Chicago Imagists and is known for her abstract and idiosyncratic figurative drawings and paintings. As with Untitled, 1968, her early work consists of dreamlike, introspective graphite drawings. She terms these pieces “magic drawings,” as they emerge without a clear compositional plan, and Rossi often does not know how the pieces will turn out. In the 1970s, Rossi shifted towards developing a unique process of reverse painting on Plexiglas, employing bold color and dramatic, figurative shapes.

Rossi received her BFA from St. Xavier College in 1964 and MFA at the University of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1970. She is a professor emeritus of painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and lives and works in Chicago.

Title: File Room, 2011

Dayanita Singh is a leading figure in contemporary photography and bookmaking. Singh studied at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad and the International Center of Photography in New York. She has expanded the possibilities for photography and photographic display in her formal considerations of the artistic medium. Though her artistic career and success began in photojournalism, she is now a self-described bookmaker who works with photography. In the early 2010s, she began producing “portable museums”— ranging in form from pocket-sized books to large wooden structures. Her work explores the complex and intimate relationships between image, text, and page as she creates art intended to exist simultaneously as book, art object, exhibition, museum, and catalogue.

The File Room prints exhibited here are part of a larger project that addresses the role—and lack thereof—of paper in the contemporary age of increased digitization. The File Room depicts the endless rows and stacks of paper files in Indian courts, municipal offices, state archives, and other institutions. Despite the promise of the tidy archive, the file rooms captured by Singh conversely display the chaos and disorder in the labyrinths of bureaucratic archives in the country of more than a billion people. While specific information of the files is not disclosed, the photographs themselves suggest the many people whose lives touch these papers – archivists tasked with organizing these documents, historians who study them, and the ordinary people whose lives are tracked and constrained by them.

Title: Currency Wars – Argentina Peso 10 New, 2015

Xu Qu is among the generation of Chinese artists who grew up during Mainland China’s period of rapid economic development after Deng Xiaoping initiated his policies of Opening and Reform. Xu graduated with a BFA from Nanjing Art Institute in 2002 and an MFA in Fine Arts and Film at Braunschweig University of Art, Germany in 2008. 

In his artistic practice, he often explores transnational themes such as power structures and global relations.  His Currency War series reconstructs banknotes' watermarks from various countries—for this work, Argentina’s 10 peso note—rendering their abstract patterns as paintings. As markings of economic value and authenticity, the watermarks invite viewers to consider the art market’s methods of commodifying visual objects and larger questions of the abstraction of wealth and dematerialization of money in today’s global, neoliberal economy.

Title: Dress Vehicle – Bulky Lacoste Birdy, 2001

Berlin-based artist, Haegue Yang,  received her BFA from Seoul National University. In the late 1990s, she moved to Germany, where she earned an MFA from the Städelschule Frankfurt am Main. Her work has been recognized by two of the highest art prizes in Korea and Germany: The Republic of Korea Culture and Arts Award and the Wolfgang Hahn. Her art spans multiple disciplines, such as video, sculpture, drawing, painting, collage, installation, and performance. Recurring themes in her vast body of work include a preoccupation with quotidian, ordinary materials like Venetian blinds and light bulbs to create multisensory experiences.

Dress Vehicle – Bulky Lacoste Birdy is made almost entirely of Venetian blinds, arranged in such a way as to alter, define, and interact with space. Yang’s Dress Vehicles are intended to “dress” the audience, transforming them into different identities or to create extended bodies. These works are meant to be activated by the viewers, and this one in particular was meant to be “driven” by a person from within the work (unfortunately in this context, viewers are not allowed to touch the work). As such, the sculptural object becomes an exaggerated bodily ornament, like an oversized and bulky item of clothing, and allows the viewer to take on a new costume and persona.