Drawing inspiration from literati painting, a style which emerged during the Northern Song period and involves prioritising personal expression over the literal depiction of physical forms, Nine Abysses XX (2021) is one of the many in Chui’s series.
Besides serving as a channel through which Chui could express his emotions, the series also helped him heal and achieve a sense of calm. He turned to traditional Northern Song landscapes for solace after being upset and perturbed by COVID-19 and by the recent social and political upheaval in Hong Kong. “Throughout the whole process, drawing the pine needles was meditative and soothing to me,” he explains. “There are many layers of pine needles, and I drew them one by one with calligraphy techniques. Somehow, I found inner peace. I hope the audience can feel these emotions through this painting.”
Chui Pui Chee
Chui was considering the average life of a Hongkonger when creating those works, which can often be a stressful struggle—especially when you are young and an artist. “An artist’s life is tough, very tough, and it is too easy to give up,” Chui says. “It is very important to support Hong Kong artists. If local collectors are only interested in international artists, then who will support the local artists? Without support, it’s very difficult for artists to survive and develop their careers.”