‘One Art Group Show’ by Kan Tai-Keung

‘One Art Group Show’ was painted in 1983 as an advertisement for an art exhibition led by Tai-Keung’s art group the “One Art Group.” This design instantly stuck out to me because unlike most of the paintings you will see from Tai-Keung, this piece has a red geometric grid-like symbol that is printed in the center of the space. A single, bold brushstroke completes the square on what otherwise would be an opened space on what looks like could be a window. In most of the paintings I have seen, ink work usually makes up most of the symbols and visuals. This is a noticeably more modernist version of his style. It is likely that he made this decision to emphasize that blend of modernist and traditional art styles which is what the One Art Group specializes and experiments with. I think another interesting take would be that their showcase wouldn’t be complete without combining these two elements of modernist and traditional Chinese ink work. Without the brushstroke it would just be a normal square, and a seemingly incomplete one at that. While this painting looks different and abstract on the surface, there are still many elements that are signature to Tai-Keung such as the very basic color palette and the utilization of the white space in the background to highlight the center even more. That along with fluid brushstrokes to make a statement are part of that design language he has developed over the years and continues to display in all of his graphic designs.


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“One Art Group – The Pioneers of Ink Art.” Galerie Du Monde, galeriedumonde.com/exhibitions/12-one-art-group-the-pioneers-of-ink/overview/.
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Tong, Nora. “Familiar Pattern: How Tradition Has Influenced Artist Kan Tai-Keung.” South China Morning Post, 21 Nov. 2012, www.scmp.com/lifestyle/fashion-watches/article/1075322/familiar-pattern-how-tradition-has-influenced-artist-kan.