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Migration and the Collecting of Chinese Art in Hong Kong in the 20th Century

Date: 19 December 2017 (Tuesday)
Time: 4:30-6:00pm
Venue: Room 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

In the mid-20th century, migrants from mainland China brought an influx of Chinese artworks, as well as their expertise on the subject, to the British colony of Hong Kong. Here mainland Chinese and local Hong Kong collectors encountered foreign connoisseurs (mostly from Britain, France, America and Japan) and built up significant collections of Chinese art under this multicultural environment. Through reconstructing the biographical accounts of four representative collectors who were active during the 1950s to 1990s – E. T. Chow (1910-1980), Low Chuck-Tiew (1911-1993), Dr Ip Yee (1919-1984) and T.T. Tsui (1941-2010) – this talk highlights the diversity of collecting which thrived in this specific geographical, political and cultural-historical space, investigating the extent to which foreign modes of collecting were appropriated by these collectors, and examining how they adopted collecting as a strategy to establish their identity and social status as a response to the colonial situation of Hong Kong. Through the lens of collecting activities, it highlights the multifaceted nature of Hong Kong society and adds to the surfacing of more local Hong Kong histories which have emerged in recent years.

Speaker: Ivy Chan

Ivy Chan is a PhD candidate in the History of Art and Archaeology, Department at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her doctoral thesis investigates the history, context and impact of Chinese art collecting in Hong Kong during the 20th century. After receiving a BA in History and Art History at the University of Nottingham, she completed her MA at SOAS with a focus on early Ming Dynasty ceramics while working as a Chinese Art Specialist at Christie’s auction house, where she was also a guest lecturer for the Christie’s Education Art of China MA course.

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