Guangzhou, 1936 - 2019

Cheung Yee

Cheung Yee was born in Guangzhou, China in 1936 to a family involved in the ceramic trade. Cheung was interested at an early age in handicrafts ranging from paper folding, clay modeling, stone sculpture to wood carving. He grew up in Hong Kong and studied Chinese painting and seal carving at the Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan from 1954-58.

Cheung returned to Hong Kong after graduation and found that his strengths lie in his possession of a fine tactile sense and a feeling for 3-dimensional space. Hence, Cheung started to achieve his artistic goals in sculpture. In 1962, the form of the tortoise shell made its appearance in Cheung’s repertoire and he produced large numbers of wood carvings carrying the concept of primitive art. In 1966, Cheung made the...

learn more about this artist

Biography

Cheung Yee was born in Guangzhou, China in 1936 to a family involved in the ceramic trade. Cheung was interested at an early age in handicrafts ranging from paper folding, clay modeling, stone sculpture to wood carving. He grew up in Hong Kong and studied Chinese painting and seal carving at the Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan from 1954-58.

Cheung returned to Hong Kong after graduation and found that his strengths lie in his possession of a fine tactile sense and a feeling for 3-dimensional space. Hence, Cheung started to achieve his artistic goals in sculpture. In 1962, the form of the tortoise shell made its appearance in Cheung’s repertoire and he produced large numbers of wood carvings carrying the concept of primitive art. In 1966, Cheung made the tortoise shell into his personal artistic vocabulary.

In Chinese, Cheung’s artwork titles have philosophical evocation echoing meanings of the Yijing (易經), Classic of Changes – power is assimilated by the harmonious state of the male and female sex and such harmony also represents the unity of man and nature. In the early 1980s, Cheung began to collect crabs which formed an important source for his artistic inspirations. For Cheung, the tortoise motif represents a placid and simple art form while the crab motif represents a sophisticated and forced art form.

Three characteristics are to be noted in Cheung’s works from the late 1980s to 1990s are the form of xuanwu (玄武), a combined form of tortoise and snake; the compositions derive from the ancient hetu and luoshu (河圖洛書) magic squares, the oldest pictorial annotations in Chinese myths; and the images derive from the four spirits and eight trigrams (四相八卦).

The art of Cheung Yee draws inspiration from ancient cultural elements of prehistoric China and employs the framework of modern western art. His sculptures and prints form a timeless meeting place of modern art and ancient culture.

Artworks

40

Column, 2012

Related Categories

20th Century Art / 21st Century Art / Abstract Sculpture / Animals/Birds/Insects / Art of the 1960s / Art of the 1970s / Art of the 1980s / Art of the 1990s / Art of the 2000s / Artists of All Time / Asian Art / Balance and Harmony / Bronze / Carving / China / Chinese Art / Contemporary Asian Art / Contemporary Chinese Art / Craftsmanship / Drawing / Drawing on Paper / Figurative Sculpture / Guangzhou / Handicrafts / Hong Kong / Inspired by Ancient Culture / Inspired by Folk Tales/Myths / Inspired by Primitivism / Modern Chinese Art / Paper / Primitive Art / Sculpture / Stone / Stone Carving / Tablet / Wood / Wood Carving / Woodcut / Word as Image

Curriculum Vitae

Chronology

  • 2019

    Group exhibition, Embody at Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong

  • Solo exhibition at Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong

  • 2017

    Exhibited at The Rotunda, Exchange Square, Hong Kong

view full CV

Curriculum Vitae

The artist CV shows the details after 2000s.
To access the artist’s full CV, please click the download button at the end.

Chronology

  • 2019

    Group exhibition, Embody at Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong

  • Solo exhibition at Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong

  • 2017

    Exhibited at The Rotunda, Exchange Square, Hong Kong