Now in its 22nd year, Kwai Fung has organized over a hundred exhibitions, undertaken eleven major art events at museums, produced over thirty art catalogues, and published one hundred and twenty-five lithographs. It has promoted in total around a hundred artists from more than ten different countries, who together represent a comprehensive range of artistic traditions and practices.
Over the years, Kwai Fung has been focusing on artists who have extensive art and cultural experience in the West, with a global vision and from China and other Asian countries. They have not only mastered the spirit of Oriental culture but also been influenced by modern Western ideology and art culture. They have injected contemporary elements into the existing art tradition, opening a new chapter of art development and contributing their own cultural uniqueness to the development of civilization under the trend of globalization. Following this direction, Kwai Fung has published a monographic literature for French-Chinese abstract master Zao Wou-ki and organised the first solo exhibition Exotica for US-based Chinese contemporary ink master Li Huayi, the retrospective exhibition Colours of Fragrance for Walasse Ting, Fleeting Eternities for Korean abstract painter Myonghi, Dillusions for Korean video artist Lee Lee Nam and Sleepers for Japanese super-realistic artist Atsushi Suwa.
FOUNDER: MS CATHERINE KWAI
Alongside devoting herself in building up a successful career, Ms Kwai has also been actively involved in charity works and public services. She is currently the Board Member of Lord Wilson Heritage Trustees, Member of Board of Directors of Association Culturelle France-Hong Kong Ltd. (Le French May), and was a Member of the Academic Committee for the 7th and the 8th Shanghai Biennales. Her contribution in cultural exchange between China and France earned her the award Knight of the National Order of Merit by the French Government in 2011.
Kwai Fung established itself in its first formal gallery venue, located on the 2nd floor of no. 79 Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley. At the beginning, it focused on a series of exhibitions of French contemporary art. After just two years, it made its first step outside Hong Kong and beyond the scope of a commercial gallery, by curating a retrospective exhibition of Marcel Mouly, an important painter of the School of Paris, at the Shanghai Art Museum.
Kwai Fung set up an art consultancy company to provide professional advices for corporations to build up their art collections in the long run. Their collections are displayed in the hotels, properties’ lobby and other public spaces to enliven the environments and cultivate a broader and deeper interest in art across society.
In the same year, Kwai Fung moved to shop nos 7 and 8 in the Aberdeen Marina Club Tower. In this more spacious venue, Kwai Fung was able to strive for exhibitions of an even higher standard.
Kwai Fung established the Kwai Po Collection – a project for systematically publishing and promoting Chinese contemporary lithographs on an unprecedented scale. Since its inception, through participation in international art fairs such as FIAC (Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain) in France and the Chicago and Miami Art Fairs, Kwai Fung has built up an international distribution network for these lithographs. By such means Kwai Fung has provided a high level of proactive support to contemporary art in China.
Kwai Fung moved from Aberdeen to Central, the most important financial district in Hong Kong. At a shop space on the ground floor of 20 Ice House Street, the gallery started a new phase, holding each year a series of fascinating art exhibitions, which have gradually established Kwai Fung as one of the area’s favourite artistic venues.
For each of its major exhibitions Kwai Fung has made considerable effort to produce a substantial and authoritative catalogue, providing in-depth introductions to the artists that we represent. In 2006 the Kwai Fung Art Publishing House was set up in order to achieve a more comprehensive distribution of the publications produced over the years, enabling the gallery’s rich archives to reach and benefit a wider spectrum of art lovers.
In 2007, Kwai Fung Art Publishing House initiated a demanding but very meaningful project: the production and publication of a monograph on Zao Wou-Ki, covering the essential features of his entire artistic career. With the support of Zao’s wife, Ms Francoise Marquet, as well as his personal assistant, Mr Yann Hendgen, the book was launched in 2010, with Chinese, English and French editions, and is recognized as one of the most authoritative sources for studying Zao Wou-Ki.
With a vision of new initiatives and fields of exploration, Kwai Fung has undergone a full-scale renovation, creating a space for more ambitious exhibitions and events. A new chapter in the history of the gallery has begun.
As early as 1996, Kwai Fung organized the retrospective exhibition of Marcel Mouly, an important painter of the School of Paris, at the Shanghai Art Museum. It was highly successful, at a time when the entry of Western art in China was still in an early stage of development, and attracted thousands of art lovers from Shanghai and a number of provinces in the Yangtze delta. From then on, Kwai Fung and its founder, Ms Catherine Kwai, have regularly cooperated with important art museums and cultural institutes in curating large-scale exhibitions.
These have included Retrospective – 40 Years of Painting of Bernard Cathelin (2000); Brilliant Tranquillity- Szeto Lap (2003); Linear Grace – Drawings and Sculptures by Amedeo Modigliani (2003); The Collection of the Shanghai Chinese Painting Academy (2005); Faceted Symphonies: Paintings by Ma Desheng (2006); What's Next? Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition (2007); and Fang Shao Hua - In Search of Harmless Apples for the Garden of Eden (2008).