| Biography | Review | Artists Represented | Ng Po Wan

Washing Clothes, 1965 by Ng Po-Wan Amid Flowers, 1986 by Ng Po-Wan

Born 1904, in Taishan, Guangdong Province, China; currently lives in Calgary, Alberta

Selected Exhibitions:


"A Canadian Experience", Art Beatus, Vancouver, Canada


Retrospective exhibition of the Art of Ng Po Wan at Hong Kong Museum of Art, Urban Council


Retrospective exhibition at Sun Kuang Art Gallery, Taipei

One-man exhibition at Gen Ya Tang Art Gallery, Taipei


Exhibition "Through the Eyes of Ng Po Wan" 1938-1992 at City Hall, Hong Kong


Exhibition "The Splendor of Canada" at Sing Tao Gallery, Toronto, Canada


Solo Exhibition, Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, Canada


Solo exhibition "China and Her Splendor" at City Hall, Ottawa, Canada

Solo Exhibition at Fermilab Art Gallery, Illinois, U.S.A.


Retrospective exhibition at the Provincial Gallery of Fine Arts, Zhejiang, Hangzhou, China


Retrospective Exhibition of Oil Paintings at the Chinese Art Gallery, Beijing

Invited by the Ministry of Culture, China and the Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts as visiting professor in oil painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts


One-man exhibition "China and Her Splendor" at Hart House, University of Toronto; City Hall, Ottawa; Luther College, University of Regina; Memorial Hall, University of New Brunswick; and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Canada


Exhibition of oil paintings at the Art Gallery of the University of Calgary, Canada


One-man exhibition at City Hall, Hong Kong


Invited to attend the Celebration of the National Day in Beijing


One-man exhibition at City Hall, Hong Kong


One-man exhibition at City Hall, Hong Kong

Excerpts taken from "Hong Kong, The West, and Modern Art", written by Ralph Crozier

During the 1960's, Ng Po Wan's painting style evolved from the sober realism, often tinged with social concerns, of his early years towards a freer, bolder, and more colourful style that showed strong affinities with European Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements.

This may not have seemed very radical or avant-garde by standards of contemporary Western art in the 1960s, but in Mainland China, where all modern styles had been banned as decadent "bourgeois formalism", his art offered a refreshing alternative to the grim socialist realism of the official Party style. Because he was in Hong Kong and did not take an openly anti-communist position, he was able to travel and exhibit in China before the Cultural Revolution of 1966. Later, when China opened the country after the death of Mao, he even exhibited at the National Gallery in Peking and taught oil painting as a visiting professor at the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts. Thus Ng Po-Wan, already in his seventies, played an important part in reopening China's long closed off art world to the main currents of modern Western art.

In the 1970s he also took his art in another direction, to the West, when he moved to Canada in 1975. Since then he has shown his art in two different worlds with exhibitions in both Canada (and the United States) and China (including Taiwan). In that sense he has been a real cultural intermediary between East and West, his own life reminding us of the historical role of his long-term home, Hong Kong. It was therefore entirely fitting that last year the Hong Kong Museum of Art had a retrospective exhibition showing his works over a stretch of sixty plus years. The expanse of Wan's career has been an enormously important sixty years for the development of Chinese art and culture and for cultural interchange for both those processes - and Ng Po-Wan has been an important part of Hong Kong's role in art.

Ralph Crozier is a professor of Chinese history at the University of Victoria

For further information, please contact:

Canada: tel: (1) 604.688.2633, fax: (1) 604.688.2685