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The Pink Mountain and Landscape of Leisure

In this continuation of our serial, we examine the comforting connection between nature and art. We are fortunate to live in a place where great art surrounds us. All it takes is a willingness to slow down and look up.

Chu Hing Wah spent three decades working as a psychiatric nurse. That experience led him to an appreciation of the deep emotional relationship between individuals and their environment. All his art aims to invoke feelings of life’s true pleasures that so easily elude us as we go about our day to day lives. Chu retired from nursing in 1992 and settled in Yuen Long, where he found beauty in the mundane interaction of ordinary people and their landscapes.   

Chu paints with a naivete that disarms the usual cynicism of this commercialised age. He paints scenes of urban Hong Kong life but abstracts them with simple forms and a stylized flat perspective using colours that are intentionally not realistic to exaggerate the emotional atmosphere. Likewise, the people in his paintings are drawn with no attempt at realism. Instead, they draw out in us a reflective mode that conveys a strong sense of affection and contentment.

The Pink Mountain and Landscape of Leisure are two glass mosaics of the landscape near Tiu Keng Leng Station reproduced from original paintings. Positioned above busy escalators, these mosaics aim to instil feelings of serenity by providing a dream-like and nostalgic glimpse of the beautiful countryside under a clear blue sky.

Did you notice the hopefulness depicted by the flowers sprouting from the otherwise barren trees? This hope culminates with the couple holding hands framed by two budding trees and illustrates Chu’s insight that life’s true pleasure is found in the bonds of community and family.

Text Martin Wray / Photos Dave Chung