Kan Tai-keung

1942, Guangzhou China

Introduction

An active design educator and artist, Kan Tai-keung is one of Hong Kong’s most famous graphic designers and noted ink painters. Born in 1942 in Pangyu, Guangdong, Kan has resided in Hong Kong since 1957. His passion for painting developed early on in his childhood, and his grandfather, Kan Yaosheng, a clay sculptor, encouraged his pursuit of art. Kan first studied art and design in 1964, and then watercolour painting and sketching with his uncle Kan May-tin. In 1967, he began attending design classes taught by Wucius Wong and Chinese ink painting lessons under Lui Shou-kwan. Concurrently, he began working as a professional designer. In 1969, he began creating his own ink paintings, and became a member and chairman of the One Art Group. Kan was an active participant of Hong Kong’s New Ink Art Movement and has continued to explore his unique brand of creativity. Since the early 1970s Kan has been actively involved in art and design education, and has influenced many of his pupils. In 2005, Kan was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Design from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is now the Chair Professor of the Cheung Kong School of Art and Design, Shantou University, Guest Professor of Central Institute of Fine Arts in Beijing and Guest Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Alisan Fine Arts held two solo exhibitions for Kan Tai-keung in 1985 and 1990, and included his works in two group exhibitions for Lui Shou-kwan and his students in 1995 and 2015. In her opening remarks for the gallery’s 1985 solo exhibition for Kan, Baroness Lydia Dunn commented that “Kan is a fine example of a highly talented artist combining as he does the techniques and traditions of both China and the Western world.”

His works are widely collected by museums and private collectors alike, and are in the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art; the Art Society of the International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C., United States; the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Guangdong Museum of Art; Taiwan Provincial Art Museum; Hong Kong Museum of Art; Hong Kong Heritage Museum; University Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Hong Kong; Hong Kong Jockey Club; Cathay Pacific Airways; Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation; Chase Manhattan Bank; Bank of East Asia; Museum Luís de Camões, Macau; Beijing Television & Broadcasting Station in China.


BIOGRAPHY

1942 Born in Panyu, Guangdong, China

1957 Moved to Hong Kong as an apprentice and worked as a tailor for 10 years

1964 Studied drawing and watercolour with his uncle May Tin

1967 Studied Chinese ink painting with Lui Shou-kwan and graphic design with Wucius Wong at the Department of Extra Mural Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong

1976 Established his own design firm

1979 1st designer to receive Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Hong Kong Award, Hong Kong

1984 3 paintings were selected by Hong Kong Government as gifts for the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and the Finance Minister of Japan

1995 First Chinese person to be included in “Who’s Who in Graphic Design” of Switzerland

1999 Conferred the Honour of Bronze Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong Government

Collaborated with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra to give a performance at Hong Kong City Hall

2002 Invited by China Central Television (CCTV) for a feature story

2005 Honorary Doctor of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

2007 Cooperated with Royal Copenhagen (Royal Porcelain Factory) and designed a porcelain dinner set named “Flora Banquet” to celebrate the reunification of Hong Kong to China

2010 Conferred the Honour of Silver Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong Government

Present Honorary Professor of the Cheung Kong School of Art and Design, Shantou University, Guangdong, China

Guest Professor at the Central Institute of Fine Arts, Beijing, China

Guest Professor at Tsinghua University, Fine Arts College, Beijing, China

Honorary Advisor of Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Honorary Advisor of Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

Advisor of the Leisure & Cultural Services Department, Hong Kong

Fellow Member and Member of Board of Advisors of Hong Kong Designers Association

Member and Chairman of Chinese Committee of Alliance Graphique Internationale

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2012

  • Hong Kong Design Legacy and Beyond: The 70 Fruitful Years of Kan Tai-keung, Hong Kong Central Library, Hong Kong

2010

  • Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

2008

  • University Museum & Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong
  • Art Gallery@Soho East, Hong Kong

2002

  • Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong 

1991

  • Hong Kong Seibu Art Gallery, Hong Kong

1990

  • Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

1989

  • Isetan Department Store, Tokyo, Japan

1988

  • Museum Luis de Camões, Macau

1986

  • Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong

1985

  • Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

1984

  • Hui Arts Gallery, Minneapolis, United States

1983

  • The American Library, Hong Kong

1980

  • Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2016   

2015

2013

  • Kan Tai-keung and Students’ Designs on Adored Objects, Gallery of HKICC Lee Shan Kee School of Creativity, Hong Kong
  • The Origin of Tao – New Dimensions in Chinese Contemporary Art, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

2009

2008

  • Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue Exhibition Series II – New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond, curated by Alice King, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

2007

  • Hong Kong Contemporary Chinese Ink Painting Exhibition 2007 – In Celebration of 10th Anniversary of Hong Kong‘s return to the Motherland, Artist Commune, Hong Kong
  • The New Face of Ink Paintings – Modern Ink Painting Group Exhibition and Symposium, Sino Group, Central Plaza, Olympian City, Hong Kong

2006   

  • Contemporary Hong Kong Ink Painting Exhibition, Hong Kong Central Library, Hong Kong
  • 5th Shenzhen International Ink Biennale, Guan Shanyue Art Museum, Shenzhen, China

2004

  • 4th Shenzhen International Ink Biennale, Guan Shanyue Art Museum, Shenzhen, China

2003

  • Of Ink and Chairs – Kan Tai-keung + Freeman Lau, Art and Design Exhibition, DDD Gallery, Osaka; Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, Tokyo, Japan

2001

  • Hong Kong Cityscapes – Ink Painting in Transition, Brunei Gallery, The School of Oriental and African Studies, London, United Kingdom

1997

  • Hong Kong Art 1997 – Collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Beijing & Guangzhou Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Guangdong Art Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

1995

1982

  • Contemporary Vision of Landscape, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

1972

  • Contemporary Hong Kong Art, City Hall Museum and Art gallery, Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong

 

Selected Awards

1981 Hong Kong Urban Council Award (Painting category-Chinese media), Hong Kong

Gold Award in Mercury Award, New York, United States

1st Prize, 1st International Computer Art Biennale, Poland

1984 Gold Award, International Art Competition, Los Angeles, United States

The only designer to receive Urban Council Design Grand Award, Hong Kong

1991 Designer Award, Hong Kong Artist of the Year, Hong Kong

1998 Outstanding Achievement Award, Hong Kong

 

Selected Public Collections

University of Connecticut, United States

Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota, United States

Art Society of the International Monetary Fund, Washington, United States

Staatliche Museum, Munich, Germany

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany

Museum of Decorative Art, Copenhagen, Denmark

Union des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France

Ogaki Poster Museum, Ogaki, Japan

Suntory Design Museum, Osaka, Japan

Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea

China Central Television, China

Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong

Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank, Hong Kong

Museum Luis de Camões, Macau