Digitised Art and Legacy

30 April 2021
The late local artist Ha Bik Chuen was a well-known sculptor, printmaker and ink-wash painter. For 50 years he also recorded local and overseas exhibitions by collecting their print materials and photographing the events. His private archive is both a record and a participant in local art history.

In 2012, three years after Ha passed away, his family invited Asia Art Archive (AAA) to initiate a research project using the 600-plus boxes from Ha’s collection, containing about 18,000 files and more than 3,500 photos. The project has continued for the past years since 2013. An array of materials and ephemera has been categorised then documented as digitised information. During 2020 and 2021, under Chinachem Group sponsorship, the digitisation project has continued. The project has promoted exchange and education on multiple art forms, and led to an exhibition of the work, named Portals, Stories and Other Journeys at Tai Kwun in Central.

In the face of passing time, the liveliness of an artistic life, though rich, is short-lived. Technology plays an important role in ensuring that valuable information and works of art will remain in the history of art. Digitisation has made it easier for the public to access art works while allowing art literature to head off the fate of gradual disappearance due to depletion, thereby allowing artists to pass on their contributions to the Hong Kong art and cultural scene.
Both a technology of documentation and a form of art, digitisation is a contributor to art history


Ha Bik Chuen

(1925-2009), born in Xinhui, Guangdong, moved to Macau in 1949 where he married Leung Siu Mei. He migrated to Hong Kong in 1957. Ha was a self-taught artist, famous for his prints, sculptures and ink-wash paintings.

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