Prof. Kurt Chan Yuk Keung was born in Hong Kong in 1959. He graduated from Department of Fine Arts, the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1983. Later, he obtained his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, USA. Chan is regarded as a prominent figure in the Hong Kong contemporary art scene since the 1990s, with installation and mixed media art as his early artistic practices. He began his pedagogic career in Department of Fine Arts, the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1989. Having pioneered in teaching installation and mixed media art in systematically structured courses, he nurtured a generation of local art talents. His students also include pivotal figures in the Hong Kong contemporary art scene and educators from various tertiary education institutions. In 2016, Chan retired from his 27-year teaching career at CUHK and became the Acting Director of Hong Kong Art School.
Chan participated in more than 80 exhibitions, including the 51st Venice Biennale (2005) and the 3rd Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (1999). His creative process mainly cuts into the cultural significance of existing objects through their physicality, which instils his works with a poetic aura. In 2016, he began deploying painting as his major creative medium which is backboned by methodologies of Chinese calligraphy. He focuses on the calligraphic quality in painting and searches for a balance between the Western rational tradition and the Eastern expressionist tradition in his practice.
Chan’s creative principle focuses on comparing Chinese and Western cultures, while exploring the restrictions of various artistic rhetoric and mediums. In his artistic practice, he tries to convey the diversity in current times using simpler forms and to place exquisite traditional foundations into contemporary expressions.