空/Emptiness: Emily Carr and Lui Shou Kwan

December 16, 2017 - April 7, 2018

Emily Carr
Grey, 1928–30
oil on canvas
Private Collection

空/Emptiness is a pairing of the Canadian modernist Emily Carr with Lui Shou Kwan founder of the New Ink Movement in Hong Kong. The exhibition is constructed through a comparison of how each artist experimented with modernist movements and mysticism through their respective depictions of nature.

Born in Victoria, BC, Emily Carr (1871–1945) is widely recognized for her paintings depicting the forested landscapes of British Columbia. Born in Guangzhou, China, Lui Shou Kwan (1919–1975) is a renowned painter in the traditional and modern styles of Chinese ink painting.

The scenery of the Pacific Northwest Coast forest remained an essential subject of Carr’s paintings, and similarly, Lui’s landscapes cannot be separated from the islands of Hong Kong. The exhibition presents more than forty works representing varied techniques and styles that each artist utilized to investigate the shapes, colours and rhythmic changes in nature. Together the works of Carr and Lui share a vision of the natural world as a mystical dimension and a revelation that the action of painting, can achieve a sense of mindfulness.

This exhibition is the eighth in a series of In Dialogue With Carr exhibitions organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Diana Freundl, Associate Curator, Asian Art


  • Lui Shou Kwan
    Taiwan Landscape—Ali Shan, 1971
    ink, pigment on paper
    Private Collection

  • Lui Shou Kwan
    Untitled, 1962
    ink, pigment on paper
    Private Collection
    Photo: Maegan Hill-Carroll, Vancouver Art Gallery


Presenting Sponsor:
Generously supported by:

Don and Barbara Stuart Priscilla Lam and Francis Law Associates of the Vancouver Art Gallery

A program of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Institute of Asian Art.
Visionary Partners:

Liu Bao, Wang Ying and Liu Manzhao

Founding Corporate Visionary Partner for the Institute of Asian Art
With thanks to the IAA Development Committee:

Angela Bi, Amelia Gao, Shawn He, Liu Junjun, Mei Deng and the late Guo Quan Peng, Fiona Yang, Yin Qing, Vivian Zhang, Cathy Zuo