Visiting artist Hung Keung coming to UH Hilo, his interactive 3D digital art installation to be on view at library

Innovative artist Hung Keung, based in Hong Kong, will be visiting UH Hilo Oct. 24-27. There will be an exhibition of his 3D video installation, a lecture, and a reception during the week, all free and open to the public.

Two males in white t-shirts with digital Chinese calligraphy floating around their heads.
An exhibition of visiting artist Hung Keung’s video installation work, Dao Gives Birth to One, depicted above, will be on view at Mookini Library, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, during the artist’s residency on campus Oct. 24-27, 2022. (Courtesy photo)

By Susan Enright

The art department at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo will be hosting an internationally renowned digital media artist, researcher, and scholar later this month that will include a lecture by the visiting artist and an exhibition of his innovative work.

Hung Keung pictured in hat and scarf
Hung Keung

Hung Keung, based in Hong Kong, will be visiting UH Hilo Oct. 24-27. An exhibition of his video installation work, Dao Gives Birth to One, will be on view at Mookini Library during the visit. The artist will give a talk on Oct. 26, 2022, 5:00 p.m., at the University Classroom Building’s lecture hall (room 100). A reception for the artist will take place on Oct. 27 at 4:00 p.m., at the Mookini Library Lanai.

Funded through a grant from the Hawai‘i Community Foundation in collaboration with Mookini Library and the UH Hilo Department of Art, all events are free and open to the public.

Hung Keung has worked in the creative and research aspects of film, video, and digital new media art since 1995. His art installations successfully integrate Chinese conceptual philosophy with digital technology, providing a novel way of defining the relation between traditional Chinese art theory and contemporary art practice.

Hung Keung’s art works address themes relating to history, and the effects of modernization, urbanization and globalization on domestic and international society and culture. His signature pieces are interactive and create a dialogue between time and space, the viewers, and the artist’s experimentation with new media.

UH Hilo Professor of Art Jean Ippolito, who published a paper with Hung Keung in 2017 titled “Time-Space Alterations: A New Media Abstraction of Traditional Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Aesthetics,” says the Dao Gives Birth to One exhibit is of great interest to art students because it expresses the idea of merging ancient Chinese philosophy and cultural concepts into new media art.

“It shows how artists, and art students, can express their own cultural traditions, even in contemporary art media,” Ippolito explains.

Exhibit at UH Hilo: Dao Gives Birth to One

For his visiting artist residency at UH Hilo, Hung Keung’s featured work is Dao Gives Birth to One. This is a project that the artist has been working on since 2009, creating several different versions and recently merged with another artwork.

One male in white t-shirt with digital Chinese calligraphy floating around his head and upper body.Based on an excerpt from the 6th century BCE text of the Dao Dejing, the line “Dao Gives Birth to One” is symbolized by 3D flying Chinese characters that replicate and multiply while attaching themselves onto the projected images of human participants.

Compared to a traditional European style oil painting, which mimics a window-like space, the handscroll is unrolled and re-rolled, so that the viewer can view each segment at their own leisure, following the pathways up and down, around and through, the hills of a landscape.

The complete original format of the artwork Dao Gives Birth to One, is 12 video screens, each looped at a different time interval and speed to symbolize the unlimited choices that a viewer has when perusing a Chinese handscroll painting.

For the UH Hilo installation, four screens from Dao Gives Birth to One will be installed at the third floor windows of Mookini Library and will be visible from the Library Lanai.

Awards and education

Hung Keung has won several prestigious international awards, from Computer Graphics International 2001, the International New Media Arts Festival in Greece, and for New Media in Croatia.

In addition, four of his video works were selected to take part in the BBC Short Film Festival. He received the Gold Award in the Hong Kong Independent Short Film and Video Awards, the Prize of Excellent at the Hong Kong Art Biennial in 2001, and the Achievement Award at the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Biennial in 2009-10.

Hung Keung was born in Kunming, Yunnan Province in China, but moved to Hong Kong with his family at the age of three.

He received his master of arts in film and video from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London, England, and his doctor of philosophy in digital media art and Chinese philosophy from the Planetary Collegium, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland, and the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom.

By Susan Enright, a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories.

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