My Family and My City 我家我城

My Family and My City 我家我城

My Family and My City: People and History

2008-2009 / Total: 25 paintings and 5 woodcut prints / Exhibition: “My Family and My City – People and History”, Pacific Place, Hong Kong 2009 / Catalogue: My Family and My City – People and History, 2009

This collection of portraits can be divided into two sub-groups. A small part of the collection, depicting some of the painter’s family members, tells the stories of two generations of a Chinese family. The painter’s long-time friends, appearing in the larger part, are all quintessential Hongkongers. A few of them are public figures; while most are not. All are portrayed against a background that tells stories behind each of them. Together, the whole series of stories, to a certain extent, epitomizes a period of history.
Portraiture is very often at the margins of Chinese painting. The subjects of traditional figure painting were usually beautiful ladies, notable literati, Buddhist and Taoist figures, or legendary characters. Even now, it seems that present-day life and people are rarely the concern of painters in the Chinese medium. This painting project, in which all pieces are portraits, is an attempt to show something different. Some other pieces are woodcuts, but all the prints are multi-colour.


2008-2009 / 作品: 水墨25張,木刻版畫5/ 展覽: 「我家我城:人與歷史」, 香港太古廣場, 2009 / 目錄: 《我家我城:人與歷史》2009


Fong So’s project may be divided into two parts. The first part depicts his relatives, while the second consists of long-time friends. Viewers can trace his family history, as well as the appearance and personality of his old friends, and hence have a better understanding of the image and type of these figures… ‘History’ is ‘His story’, and everybody has a story of his/her own, making up pieces of a personal history, all bearing the imprint of the times. By displaying the whole series of portraits with stories behind, people can reconstruct the history of an era.”
— Anita Y.F. Wong, Curator (History), University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong (Catalogue essay “Portraits from Life: Figure paintings by Fong So, 2009)

「方蘇寫真的對象,包括家人和好友兩個系列。觀衆可通過這系列的人物肖像,看到他的家族歷史,以及老朋友的意態和性格特質,從中窺見這些人物在他心目中的形象和品貌。…… 所謂歷史,也就是人的故事,每件作品各有背後的故事,箇中人物各有不同面目,也各有本身的心路歷程。畫作烙下他們所屬年代的印記,正好編織成香港過去半世紀時代的縮影。」

“Apparently, not all of them [people portrayed by Fong So in this series] know one another. But their relations crisscross at many points, weaving a web of families, friends, activists, comrades and civic organizations, thus gleaming a picture of social movement and civil society… Many of Fong’s friends are connected with social movements promoting various causes – as organizers or participants… Wherever they were born, Hong Kong became their home. For them, the city has never been ‘a borrowed place in a borrowed time’.”
— Joseph M. Chan, Professor of Journalism and Communication, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Catalogue essay “Tracing History”, 2009)

「很明顯,畫中人不完全互相認識,但是彼此的關係也有不少交叉的地方,構成家庭、朋友圈子、活動組合、同志網絡、民間組織, 隱隱然顯着社會運動和民間社會的影子。……不少畫中人跟各種各樣的社會運動有關,不是組織者,就是參與者。…… 不管生在哪裏,香港對於他們從來都不是什麽借來的時空,而是自己的家園。」
陳韜文‧香港中文大學新聞與傳播學院講座教授 (目錄專文《為歷史留痕》‧2009)

Cover image
New Year Wishes (Szeto Wah – retired educator and unionist, former Legislative Council member)
揮春 (司徒華退休教育工作者及工會領導,前立法會議員)
2008, ink and colour on paper 
水墨設色紙本, 69 x 93 cm

Project gallery (Please click the image to view it in full)
1. A 28-year Editorship (Lee Yee – veteran journalist, columnist)
廿八年間 (李怡,資深新聞工作者,專欄作家)
2009, ink and colour on paper
水墨設色紙本, 154 x 83.5 cm

2. The Narrow Exit (Ching Cheong – veteran journalist)
窄門 (程翔資深新聞工作者)
2008, ink and colour on paper
水墨設色紙本, 120 x 51.5 cm

3. Under the Clock Tower (Mom in 1987, with her second son)
鐘樓之下 (媽與次子,1987)
2008, ink and colour on paper 
水墨設色紙本, 93.5 x 87 cm

4. The Mourner (Brother Ling-bo next to the shrine of his deceased parents)
悼亡 (阿哥和他雙親的靈位)
2008, ink and colour on paper 
水墨設色紙本, 93.5 x 83 cm

5. A Good Practice (Chow Shek-fairetired school headmaster, Taichi master)
操練 (周錫輝,退休校長,太極師傅)
9, ink and colour on paper
水墨設色紙本, 200 x 125 cm

6. The Board 董事會 
9, woodcut
木刻, 66 x 66 cm
Before turning to art, Fong So was an editor of The Nineties Monthly, a current affairs magazine based in Hong Kong. This woodcut print is a group portrait of the board members of the holding company of The Nineties, alongside some other friends. They were the ardent supporters of the magazine and it’s editorial independence.