All posts tagged: Arthur Hacker

Octavia Fox

Food historian Octavia Fox talks about three of her favourite pieces in her collection. Antonio Casadei was an Italian artist working in Hong Kong during the 60s and 70s. His name is now little known but you would have walked past his work on numerous occasions: the ceramic screens in Statue Square are his, as are the back-lit glass wall in the lobby of the St George’s Building and the public sculptures in Mei Foo Sun Chuen. I think he was a great ceramicist and he must have had a substantial kiln somewhere in Hong Kong to produce works like the chunky bas reliefs which once graced the lobbies of the Prince’s Building. I have two of his paintings, which my father bought when Casadei was selling art door to door – most probably on his arrival in 1962. These paintings must have been produced in Italy before his arrival but they are, for me, very much a part of that era in Hong Kong. Eizō Katō was a Japanese landscape artist who worked in both Hong Kong and Japan. …

Crossing Hong Kong’s Harbour

By John Batten The very first art objects mass-exported from China to buyers in Europe, Asia and the Ottoman Empire were designed-to-order, ceramic and porcelain chinoiserie items, often purely utilitarian: crockery dinner sets, jars and storage urns. In the 18th century worldwide trade expanded due to growing demand, sturdier ships and established trading routes. Canton, as Guangzhou was then known, was China’s only port open for foreign trade, and encouraged by the success of the porcelain trade the earliest China Trade paintings were created there. This established the practice for visiting European traders and military personnel to buy or commission a painting as a souvenir of their visit or an export product. Executed by Chinese artisan painters, China Trade paintings were completed in a western landscape painting style, often naive and using rudimentary perspective. The paintings focused on depicting Canton life, including factories, trading houses, foreign diplomatic quarters, landscape scenes and visiting ships – subjects that appealed to Europeans. The monopoly on British trade with India and China held by the British East India Company for more than two centuries ended …