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Entering the Ninth Decade
A Joint Painting Exhibition Celebrating Tam Shek-Wing’s 81st Birthday

Sui Anju / Content for the Year
The gentry looks forward to the hundredth year.
The ordinary man looks forward to the year.
I set my eyes on the ordinary, which led me
to write this for my studio, Spring of Yiwei – 2015.

Preface to the Entering the Ninth Decade painting collection,
June 2015.

by Tam Shek-Wing

This year is the first year into my ninth decade. According to tradition, this birthday is more significant than celebrating the 80th birthday. In the old days, men celebrate both birthdays. For women, the big celebration falls on the first year into the new decade. As the Chinese idiom goes, “men on the line, women on the first,” it is not that men only care about the birthday every ten years, rather, the emphasis is that for women the big birthday is on the first year.

The OCAA executive Mr. Jeffrey Lo follows this tradition in organizing the joint exhibition. Lo invited nine painters from Hong Kong and Canada. Including me, there are ten people in total. The nine artists are Mr. Jeffrey Lo and his wife Ms. Tam Mei-Yung, Ms. Angie Chan, Mr. Kwok Cheung-Sing, Ms. Donna Chu, Ms. Lily Hui, Ms. Karen Lee, and Canadian painters Mr. Ma Peng and Mr. Lo Wing-Chiu. The paintings showcase their unique aesthetics. For example, Angie Chan has bold use of colour; Kwok’s reveals a particular Hong Kong flavour. I won’t go into details for the remaining painters. I encourage you to experience their works. Here I express my gratitude to the nine painters. As well, many thanks to Angie Chan and Jeffrey Lo for their generous funding support in producing this painting collection.

I spent most of my effort in Buddhism. I have been writing ceaselessly on the subject for more than twenty years. With more than eighty books under my belt, any time spent on painting is at most a leisurely activity. That said, I do pride myself for transforming the style of Geshan and Lingnan traditions in my expressive aesthetics. It is also my honour to showcase my work with the nine painters.

A painting exhibition as a birthday celebration can be traced back in history. Master painters in the past, such as Jian Qinzhai, Gao Gianfu and Chen Shuren, had all held birthday exhibitions. For this exhibition, I am merely following their footsteps. To celebrate with the participating artists and art lovers alike is my wish for the show.

 
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