Sketching Hong Kong — The Drawings of Eddie Chau


Edited by Phoebe Wong

ISBN : 978-988-77239-7-4

Chinese Art History Distributed for HKU Museum and Art Gallery 香港大學美術博物館

June 2024

240 pages, 11.2″ x 7.8″, more than 150 full-colour and b/w images

  • HK$250.00

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Co-published with MCCM Creations

A gifted watercolourist and educator, Eddie Chau’s skill in depicting the lush natural environment was first recorded in the paintings he executed as a young adult in the mid-1960s in Indonesia. Documenting the rural environment in and around Bandung, his work is exemplary in terms of his attention to detail and the colour palette employed to render the village scenes in a warm light. These early years were followed by material scarcity and simpler monochrome drawings executed in China’s Guangdong province, further developing his genius for observing and recording both larger pictorial contexts and minuscule details.

Arguably the best-known and most widely collected of Chau’s works are the panoramic views of Hong Kong’s landscapes which he made in watercolour and pen. Primarily documentary in character, Chau’s depictions incorporate a rich and fantastical palette. Often seen from vantage points on the Peak or from Lion Rock, or drawn as imaginary bird’s-eye views, his paintings are extraordinary testaments to the magnificence that Chau saw in Hong Kong. 

Chau’s contribution to the art scene is encapsulated in his numerous view-paintings that memorialise Hong Kong in what are considered exemplary paintings, as well as crucial historical documents recording a city undergoing continuous waves of urban development. This comprehensive monograph bears witness to the artist’s nearly sixty-year-long career and will serve as a significant contribution to the study of the history of local Hong Kong art for years to come.

Eddie Chau (1945–2020) was a Chinese painter born in Bandung, Indonesia. When the anti-Chinese riots broke out in 1965, many overseas Chinese returned home. Eventually settling in Hong Kong in 1992, Eddie became known for his panoramic watercolour landscapes of Hong Kong.