Nowadays, with the rise of modern China, Chinese culture and art from a 5,000-year-old civilization is receiving a growing attention internationally. It is now the golden age of Asian culture and art. As we briefly review the past 5,000 years of art history with the development of Chinese society, politics, economy and culture over time, a historical pattern emerges. The development of ink painting in each period was closely linked to the social development at the time. Understanding art history will help us understand the current developments of art and its historical significance. Undoubtedly, Asian ink painting in the 21st century has reached its second highest point in history after the first peak in the Song dynasty. Ink painting today belongs not only to China, but also to the world.
With all the favourable conditions at home and abroad, the Young Artists Development Foundation notices shortcomings in understanding Asian ink painting, even among the Chinese. With a strong sense of mission and responsibility, the Foundation has given their full support in the organization of Ink Global 2017. We aim to collect 500 selected works from 500 outstanding ink painters around the world, on this unique occasion to showcase the artistic mastery and exceptional quality of contemporary Asian ink painting. It is a tribute to the artistic tradition and an important moment in the history of art. To keep standards high, the criteria for entering the exhibition is based on how distinct the artistic style is, how technicality plays out in the work, and how representative the work is. The exhibits are divided into five categories, namely, figures, landscape, birds and flowers, animals, and modern ink painting, which cover all contemporary Asian ink painting. Although many outstanding artists are not able to join this exhibition for many reasons, such as old age or delays, the 500 works from 15 countries and regions should be more than enough to showcase various styles, subjects, techniques, and characteristics of contemporary ink art. This is undisputedly the most representative, largest scale and highest standard ink painting exhibition, unprecedented in history.
As the curator of Ink Global 2017, I have a few more thoughts to share. First of all, I am moved by the international artists’ enthusiasm as evident in their participation and support. We are honoured by the acclaimed sinologist Professor Jao Tsung-i’s presence as he has graced the exhibition with an inscription. The Chinese painting master Huang Yongyu’s mural painting for the exhibition is the highlight of the event. Secondly, I am amazed to see so many ink painters from around the world. Most of them reside in China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan. They have demonstrated their talent with their exceptional works, whose rich contents are unparalleled throughout history. I believe that the viewers will be very impressed and the exhibition will be a milestone in the history of Asian art.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, related officials, sponsors, consultants, judges, organizations, and friends for their support and the staff members who worked round-the-clock for the exhibition.