Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPHIL)


Visual Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Sophia LAW Suk Mun


Ink Painting was first initiated by Lui Shou Kwan (1919 - 1975) in the 1960s and it had a significant and remarkable influence on Hong Kong painters. It aimed to revitalize Chinese painting as a reaction largely triggered by the dominant trend of imitative practice of the Lingnan School in Hong Kong at the time. Lui stressed the importance of gen (根 root) and shi (適 adaption) and signaled many possibilities of ink painting as a new category. Gradually, a group of artists pursuing the same goal gathered and made the Ink Painting Movement possible. Irene Chou was one of the prominent and dedicated artists involved in the Ink Painting Movement. She demonstrated a lifelong exploration of art and the expression of her inner self to art.

This study attempts to analyze how Chou’s art manifested the core values and concepts of Ink Painting. Born in Shanghai, Chou moved to Hong Kong in 1949. She did not commence painting until her mid-thirties when she studied with the second generation of the Lingnan School master Zhao Shaoang (1905 - 1998). Her artistic career began with imitation. However, after she met and was inspired by Lui in the mid 1960s she soon realized art was about self expression. Her art evolved from representation to abstraction and eventually developed into her own style which is very distinct from other Ink painters. After her stroke in 1991, she immigrated to Australia. Despite the unfamiliar environment and poor health, Chou did not surrender herself to these physical challenges. In contrast, her spirit elevated and she continued the exploration of self through her creations. By using Chou as a case study, the research aims not only a scrutiny of Chou’s artistic pursuits and innovation, but also a juxtaposition of her pursuits among a few link painters of her time in order to have a better understanding of some crucial and complex concepts of Ink Painting.


周綠雲, 新水墨

Recommended Citation

Sheng, H. (2013).The art of Irene Chou (Zhou Luyun, 1924-2011): A case study of ink painting (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from