We’re to Struggle On

92 x 73 cm, oil on canvas, 1952, HK Museum of Art, Scenes (184), [B54-52]

92 x 73 cm, oil on canvas, 1952, HK Museum of Art, Scenes (184), [B54-52]

92 x 73 cm, oil on canvas, 1952, HK Museum of Art, Scenes (184) [B54-52]
© Copyright 2013 Cantra Limited

 

By 1952, we see a lightening of the background.  His style is still Realistic but Po Wan began using a lighter palette and brighter colours.  This painting, although depicting a horrific moment in this family’s life where they have lost everything, holds a sense of optimism.  The pain and loss can clearly be seen in the mother’s face.  But they still have each other.  Critics complained that the bright background did not fit in with the somber mood of the painting.  Po Wan replied to this:

I like to narrate social grievances and injustice in my work.  But I have never depicted only the dark side of life.  I love to express optimism and hope in my pictures.  That is my conviction”

– Ng Po Wan from “Ng Po Wan: The Man & His Art, Philip Mak, 2001

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