Ink Dance at Historic Relics (Series 3): Site-specific Performance of Chinese Calligraphy conducted at Ex-Royal Air Force Station (1933-1978), a Grade 1 historic building/ Declared Monument of Hong Kong

Chak Kwong LAU (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


Ink Dance at Historic Relics (Series 3)
Site-specific Performance of Chinese Calligraphy at Declared Monument of Hong Kong

Eight-Character-Line Couplet in Oversized-character Script:
From the Royal Air Force, a historic relic was revitalized.
To nurture modern talents at the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University

Seven-Character-Line Couplet in Oversized-character Script:
Like a spell the birds' chirpy tunes linger,
As my inspiration comes in bursts.
The trees dance and sway into life,
In their shimmering lights my inkscape emerges.

古跡墨舞 (系列三)

場域特定書法表演 2022


榜書八言聯:「皇家空軍活化古蹟, 浸大視藝薰陶今才。」

This series of public performance of Chinese calligraphy, entitled 'Ink dance at historic relics' has always been grounded in Chinese aesthetics, my passion for Chinese calligraphy and my physical strength. My work takes a critical view of such historical and cultural issues as conservation and revitalization of Hong Kong's heritage. Rendered in bold and forceful brushstrokes, my work endeavors to convey it's literary content in an artistically assertive manner.

In 2009 this HKBU project of revitalizing the historic relic as its Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) was named an Honorable mention in UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation. In this light, my artistic decision of executing the calligraphic couplet on a monumental scale is a celebration of the significance of the revitalized historic relic and its far-reaching educational impact.

The huge couplets, hung on the façade of the two-storey building with colonnaded verandahs, creates an innovative fusion of the Colonial Neoclassical style of architecture and the traditional Chinese aesthetics of honesty and austerity in calligraphy. It is enormously satisfying to finish a huge work of calligraphy at a historic relic while at the same time enjoying the delightful ambience of interacting with the responsive audience during my performance.

這系列名為「古跡墨舞」的現場中文書寫創作融合了中國美學, 我對中國書法的熱愛及個人體力而成 。這個創作是以批判的角度去詮釋保育, 活化香港文化遺產等歷史與文化議題。我的創作, 透過大膽而有力的筆觸, 以藝術家堅定的態度, 來傳達文字內容。

2009年, 香港浸會大學活化了這座歷史遺跡, 並把它轉化為浸大視覺藝術院的校舍。這個活化行動獲頒聯合國教科文組織亞太區文物古蹟保護獎榮譽獎。為了宣揚這項活化計劃的重大意義及其長遠的教學影響, 我決定創作巨幅式書法對聯。

懸掛於樓高兩層, 配以柱廊式迴廊的古典建築的正面, 巨幅式書法對聯塑造出一種創新的風格, 它結合了殖民地式新古典建築的氣派及傳統中國書法美學的誠實及樸拙及傳統中國書法美學中的樸實、古拙、粗糙及蒼勁之美。 我在歷史遺跡裡既完成這個巨大的藝術品, 又能在愉悦氣氛中與反應熱烈的現場觀眾交流, 這讓我感到無比滿足!

The work described in this video was supported by a grant from The Research Grant Council of the Hong Kong Administrative region, China. (Project Number: 12600521)
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOther
SizeCalligraphy Performance: 14 meters x 8 meters
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese art
  • Chinese arts and culture
  • Chinese calligraphy
  • Hong Kong calligraphy
  • public space
  • Heritage
  • Heritage management
  • Historic sites
  • declared monument


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