[Online] Unsung Heroes of Ink: Olivia Wang’s Ink Painting Documentary Premiere

Why We Recommend it

Olivia Wang’s documentary Unsung Heroes of Ink shines a light on the overlooked people who make Chinese ink painting possible, including the brush makers, paper makers, and ink makers.


Originally scheduled to be held in February at Asia Society Hong Kong, the premiere of Unsung Heroes of Ink, a documentary by Olivia Wang, will now be held online as a webcast.

Appreciation for Chinese ink painting is growing, but much of the art form remains unexplored. An ink painting comes into being when ink meets paper. But the role of the latter in shaping or responding to an artist’s style is often overlooked.

Revered artist Liu Dan has observed that the “language of ink” is created not by individuals but by a group of people: the papermaker, brush maker and maker of ink. In the era of the rock star artist, however, many neglect the role of paper and paper making.

Unsung Heroes of Ink seeks to redress this balance. The documentary features artists Liu Dan and Shao Fan, who explain how xuan paper shapes their work. Also featured are their collaborators: craftspeople in the remote Jing County, Anhui, who use ancient methods to hand-produce the paper.

There will be a post-screening discussion on the film, the history of ink art and its relevance today with film director Olivia Wang and Esther Heer-Zacek, Member Emerita of the Asia Society Switzerland Board.

ASHK members can register to join the webcast and interact with speakers, while non-members can watch the livestream on Facebook.

The screening will be held on 23 April, 2020 between 6-7pm HKT. The recorded webcast will be available for viewing here until 30 April, 2020.


When: 23 Apr 2020 - 30 Apr 2020 Where: Online