Establishing the Reputation of Lui Shou Kwan in Britain in the 1960s

Ying Ling HUANG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


With his contribution in creative practice and art education, the celebrated ink painter Lui Shou Kwan (1919-1975) was the first Hong Kong artist to receive an honorary M.B.E. for services to art in 1971. Although Lui’s role as founder of the New Ink Movement in the 1960s is highly recognised in the history of Hong Kong art, little is known about the reception of his art in the overseas. This article throws light on the roles of dealer, curator and scholar in establishing the international reputation of Lui Shou Kwan, whose works were widely exhibited in galleries and museums across Britain throughout the 1960s. Although the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology is the major home for preserving and exhibiting Lui’s paintings in present-day Britain, sporadic works by Lui and his contemporaries and their exhibition records kept in private hands and other museums are neglected yet important materials to reveal British taste, understanding and curatorial practice regarding modern Chinese painting during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) decade. Through an in-depth and focused study of Lui’s solo exhibition held at the Bristol City Art Gallery (now the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery) in 1964 and his participation in the Loan Exhibition of Modern Chinese Painting at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 1967, this article will reveal the joint efforts of Major T. Geoffrey Barker (1912-1980), Professor Michael Sullivan (1916-2013) and curator Douglas Hall (b. 1926) to promote Lui’s unique painting style and its underlying aesthetics to British audiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
JournalArts of Asia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


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