Saturday, May 16, 2009

Painted (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

Before I started this blog, pretty much all of the writing I did on the internet pertained to movies, particularly those from Hong Kong. And long before I got onto cyberspace, I was a culture vulture. (Among other things, I double majored in art history along with anthropology at college.) So imagine my delight to find that this week's Photo Hunt theme allows me to highlight both those passions.

More specifically, one of my favorite Hong Kong artists is a fellow named Chow Chun Fai who has painted specific scenes from many a classic Hong Kong movie (like in the cases above, period actioner Dragon Inn (1992) and crime drama Infernal Affairs (2002)). Some time back, examples of his art were put up on display in a gallery that's within the Central MTR station -- which is how I got to take the photos above (and no, I really didn't see any "no photography allowed" signs about -- unlike in a regular art gallery or museum); photos which I'm now very happy to be able to offer up to share.

Oh, and for those unfamiliar with Hong Kong films: Yes, pretty much all of them come with English along with Chinese subtitles -- albeit English which sometimes may need some more translating into "regular" English.

In the case of the Dragon Inn line immortalized in one of Chow Chun Fai's paintings, however, the translation isn't necessarily wrong. Rather, it comes after two parties bearing swords (one of whom, played by the great Brigitte Lin Ching-Hsia, is a cross-dressing female) who actually are hostile -- but pretending to be friendly -- meet and effectively confront each other in a desert inn. One asks, and the other declines, to give their names, whereby someone suggests, partly to dissipate tensions somewhat, that "let's [drink and give] cheers for this nameless world"... ;b


Bengbeng said...

:) Thanks for telling me about the theme hahahah. I gotta go look for some painted pics now hahah. Have a great weekend.

Carver said...

Great idea for the theme and such an interesting post. Happy weekend.

CRIZ LAI said...

Hmmm... another famous Chow in HK? :P I think gone were the days of hand painted drawings on films over here. We used to have a lot hanging in front of cinemas. Thanks to the invention of big scale printing machines. :P

Anonymous said...

They've since replaced all those painted posters with digital printed posters.
I've got a friend's dad that used to collect those painted pictures.He had a storeroom filled with them!!
Talk about love for HK films!!

jmb said...

As always I learn something new here.
I would have thought they would use photos, not paintings.

Happy weekend YTSL.

Randi said...

Very interesting post!
Great take on the theme.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the history. Very interesting post!! enjoyed it.
Cindy O

jams o donnell said...

what a great take on this week's theme. It is excellent work. I'm glad there was no "no photography" rule in place

Anonymous said...

I imagine this excellent artist is in great demand in the industry. There are worse ways to earn a living.

julie said...

Hand painted drawings of movies have been replaced by digital reproductions although I may say some of those hand painted ones look different from how the actors really look like :D

The subtitles? lol! ;)

Pat said...

Wow - very interesting for this week.

Happy Weekend.

NitWit1 said...

Love to see artists' works from places other than US. Scenes from movies is a new twist.

yami said...

Nice entry for this week's theme.

have a great weekend! :)

YTSL said...

Hi Bengbeng --

Good luck re finding some painted pics... will head back to visit your blog again some time this weekend!

Hi Carver --

Thanks for taking the time to read as well as look once more! :)

Hi Criz --

There are many famous Chows in Hong Kong -- so much so that I'm not sure if you're thinking of Chow Yun-fat or Stephen Chow Sing Chi, among others! ;b

Hi Napaboaniya --

A quick correction: Chow Chun Fai's works are paintings, not posters *or* -- like Criz Lai thinks -- drawings. And woah, I sure would love to see your friend's dad's movie paraphenalia collection! :b

Hi jmb --

Hmm... think I need to clarify again: The actual film advertising these days does tend to be in photo format but Chow Chun Fai's work is actually not film advertising... :S

Hi Randi --

Thanks! :)

Hi Cindy --

Thanks for reading my comments as well as looking at the photos! Appreciate the effort! :)

Hi jams --

Thanks for the positive reaction to this week's Photo Hunt entry. It's really appreciated. :)

Hi Aileni --

I think that without a doubt Chow Chun Fai is one of the most popular as well as acclaimed Hong Kong contemporary artists. And yes, there are far worse ways to earn a living!

Hi Julie --

I know what you mean about the actors in hand-painted pictures not always looking the same as real life. BTW, you should see what Chow Chun Fai has submitted for this year's HK Art Fair -- him in the Chow Yun Fat role in "The Bund"! ;b

Hi Pat --

Thanks, and happy weekend to you too. :)

Hi NitWit1 --

Thanks for the appreciation -- and agree that painting scenes from movies is indeed a novel twist! :)

Hi Yami --

Thanks! :)

Hootin' Anni said...

Thanks so much for this entry. I honestly learned something today. Wonderful choice.

My 'PAINTED' is posted now. Hope you can join me at my blog today sometime. Have a great weekend.

gengen said...

Nice choice for the theme. Happy weekend. Mine is posted.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Too neat!
Great photo hunt~

JC said...

I'll drink to that! Wonderful work and I agree there are worse ways to make a living ;-)

Gattina said...

I am completely ignorant about Hongkong movies, already the European once are not my cup of tea, lol ! Very interesting post, though !

LifeRamblings said...

thanks for the interesting entry. happy weekend.

YTSL said...

Hi Hootin' Anni --

Am glad to learn that you got much out of your visit today! Thanks for reading and looking. :)

Hi gengen --

Thanks, and happy weekend to you too.

Hi Sandi --

Glad you think so! :)

Hi JC --

I'll drink to the idea that it's great to be able to make a living as an artist. :)

Hi Gattina --

Sounds like you're as emphatically not a movie person as you most definitely are a cat person! ;b

Hi Life Ramblings --

You're welcome, and hope you have a good weekend too. :)

RJ Flamingo said...

Neat! I always learn something here, and today is no exception. Thanks for visiting me!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful paintings! So you studied art history? That is something I would really love to do, to the extent that I've looked at the Open University syllabus several times. So far, I haven't done anything more about it, but maybe sometime.

Dragonstar said...

They are excellent paintings. I particularly like the first one, so it's nice to know some of the background. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Great take for this week's theme!

Thank you for visiting me as well:)
Cindy O

srp said...

It must have been difficult to keep the painted movie posters current. Nice entry and information.
Mine is up here.

YTSL said...

Hi RJ Flamingo --

It makes me happy to read your opinion re my blog. Thanks for those comments! :)

Hi A. --

Yes, I studied art history. Had thought it a sort of indulgent thing to do but, funnily enough, it's served me well work-wise (as, among other things, I write about art -- e.g., preview exhibitions) these days... ;)

Hi Dragonstar --

Thanks -- including for recognizing that those are paintings rather than advertising posters, etc. (It's interesting to find out how their subject matter seems to get some people to think otherwise!)

Hi Cindy --

Thanks, and you're welcome. :)

Hi srp --

Actually, it doesn't matter -- in Chow Chun Fai's case -- if his works pertain to current movies or not. In fact, he seems to opt for older, classic films for inspiration.

stan said...

wow! i 'D LOve tt technology at hm to watch movies!

Bengbeng said...

talking abt clothes n colour, i have npo idea of how you look at all. initially I thought u were a man :)

YTSL said...

Hi Stan --

Isn't said technology called VCD/DVD (or, earlier, VHS) player? ;b

Hi Bengbeng --

Hmmm... there actually are photos of me on line... just not any revealing ones on my blog! ;D

As for not knowing what my gender is: if you can't tell from my writing and the photos I take, does it matter all that much?

EG CameraGirl said...

Like your take on the painted theme. I find it interesting that Hong Kong films have subtitles in English.

SabineM said...

Great take on the theme!!

YTSL said...

Hi "Your EG Tour Guide" --

I'm not sure if you know but Hong Kong used to be a British colony. Anyways, the story is that the British authorities asked for English subtitles so that they'd know what was being said in the movies. And although it's been more than 10 years now since Hong Kong was handed back to China, that practice -- one that has helped win Hong Kong cinema many English-reading fans -- has continued.

Hi Sabine M --

Thanks. :)

Liz Hinds said...

Those are great paintings with a photographic effect!

YTSL said...

Hi Liz --

Thanks, glad you like the effect! :)