Half A Century in Hong Kong: A Retrospective For British Painter Brian Tilbrook

Why We Recommend it

Brian Tilbrook’s lively semi-abstracts and evocative paintings capture how Hong Kong’s geographical and political landscapes have changed over the course of the last five decades.


Presented by Hong Kong Arts Centre, Brian Tilbrook: A Retrospective is a kaleidoscopic display of the Hong Kong-based artist’s visual perception of the city since his arrival from Britain in 1965.

The vibrant colours of the urban landscape and countryside of Hong Kong captivated Tilbrook and in turn have remained a signature in his works. His paintings capture the vicissitudes of history, as expressed in one of his recent abstract works, Triumph (2018), in which the apparent chaos is countered by recurring Chinese characters.

In contrast, his earliest work in the exhibition, Ruins of St. Paul’s (1948), is a painting in the realistic style. It vividly portrays the bombed ruins he saw on the edge of the London cathedral at the end of the Second World War.

There will be many more works by the experimental artist and stage designer, who depicts the turmoils, riots and fundamental changes that the city has experienced over the past fifty years.

A graduate of London’s Ealing College of Art (1953), Tilbrook (b. 1932, Middlesex, UK) first came to Asia in the early 1960s through military postings to Japan, Malaysia and Hong Kong. He was involved in the production of fifty paintings that focused public attention on the city’s heritage, a project commissioned by the Hong Kong government in 1989. He is also a long-time designer for the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre.

Image: Pak Sha O by Brian Tilbrook, 1988. 


When: 4 Jan 2019 - 19 Jan 2019 Where: Experimental Gallery, 3/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre – 2 Harbour Road – Wan Chai