Lui Shou Kwan moved to Hong Kong from Guangzhou in 1948. His interest in Chinese paintings was cultivated by his father Lui Can Ming, who was a Chinese painter as well. Despite having trained in economics, Lui was determined to become an artist. Lui joined the Hong Kong and Yaumatei Ferry Company as an inspector and for the next 17 years he worked part-time as an artist and contributor to art-related publications. His first book A Study of Chinese Paintings was published in 1956. An artist and art educator, Lui began to teach Chinese ink painting at the Department of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong and the Department of Extra-Mural Studies at Chinese University in 1966.
Lui Shou Kwan is best known for his abstract ink paintings, which emerged from his extensive knowledge of Chinese art history and traditional painting techniques. Although Lui believed abstraction was the way forward, his style of painting always retained a sense of tradition. In the 1960s, he reached the peak of his career with a series of Zen paintings. They were characterized by broad and free calligraphic brushstrokes and ink washes. An atmosphere of philosophical contemplation permeates his paintings, with recurring Taoist and Buddhist motifs such as lotus and flames. This universal and spiritual dimension of philosophy is enhanced by abstraction, giving the paintings timeless appeal.
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