Painting takes away from “the sadness of the present”: Impressionist painter Lin Minggang’s solo show opens as Hong Kong heals from COVID-19

The opening night of a Monet-inspired artist’s exhibition drives home the idea that art is necessary when coping with adversity.

Photo: Artist Lin Minggang speaks at the opening of his exhibition, courtesy of Don North.

Yesterday marked the opening of Lin Minggang’s new exhibition, ‘The Path of Monet’, a showcase of his Impressionist paintings at C’ Gallery, Hung Hom. 

The exhibition includes paintings Lin created in a traditional Impressionist style while travelling through France, visiting locations important to the life of Impressionist master Monet. These include Paris, Le Haver, Honfleur, Rouen and Monet’s hometown of Giverny. 

Among the distinguished guests was the French Consul of Culture and Science Mr Benoit Étienne. His opening speech, which compares the current global COVID-19 pandemic to the First World War, argues for the importance of art in times of darkness. 

“We need art,” emphasised Mr Benoit Étienne, French Consul of Culture and Science. Photo courtesy of Don North.

“In December of 1914, so a few months after the beginning of the horrible first world war, Claude Monet wrote, ‘Painting is the best way not to think too much about the sadness of the present,’” Étienne quoted.

“Present times have been very, very tough for Hong Kong, for the world and tonight a special mention to my country of France; but despite the difficulties we all agree on one key point: We need art.”

Other speakers included Gallery Director Professor Wai Ching of the Central Gallery of Fine Art and the artist Lin Minggang himself. 

Originally from Fujian, Lin moved to Hong Kong in 1978 where he became interested in the distinctly French art form of Impressionism. In 1990, he moved again to Paris studying at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. Lin has since become a member of the French National Artists Association and is the president of the Hong Kong Oil Painting Research Society.

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the author

Cyril is a freelance writer from Hong Kong with an interest in local culture and identity. He obtained his degree in Music and Drama from the University of Birmingham with a dissertation on Hong Kong and Macau’s musical culture and identity. Outside of writing, Cyril is heavily involved in the local performance arts scene.