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East Meets West in New Mural Painting at Tseung Kwan O Station

2 November, 2003

Panels in powerful reds, blues and purple interspersed with tinges of gold and sliver
are capturing passengers’ attention and drawing them to the centre of MTR Tseung
Kwan O station.

The vivid colour patches are part of a new mural painting entitled “Layers of Tradition”
created by Maria Lobo, a famous acrylic painter born and raised in Hong Kong. The
work is the latest addition to the MTR’s “Art in Station Architecture” programme.
The artwork, originally an acrylic painting and paper collage on board, has been
reproduced in film for application onto the station panels. “The work is ‘East meets
West’ in both imagery and techniques. This is a reflection of my own background and
heritage, as well as the east-crosses-west environment in which I was brought up and
now live,” said Ms. Lobo.

“The transparency and layers of paint, some metallic, relate to the layers of time, both
current and historical. The viewer can see traces of what came before in the painting
process and the passage of time,” she explained.

“The use of gold and silver plus metallic paints serves to create additional visual layers
and patterns. Its use is inspired by the beautiful use of gold leaves in centuries of
Chinese decorative arts,” Ms. Lobo added.

Looking closer at the painting, viewers will find traces of Chinese calligraphy depicting
abstracts of the Chinese Almanac.

“The Chinese Almanac is past and future. It is timeless, having been published annually
for over 1,200 years. The Cantonese call it ‘Tong Sing’ or ‘Know Everything’ book. To
Chinese people, it is a book of wisdom. I used it in my painting both for the purpose of
decoration and as a reference to the passage of time, echoing again the theme of
heritage and tradition,” Ms. Lobo illustrated.

Ms. Lobo’s affection for Chinese culture is rooted in her upbringing in Hong Kong.
Later, her art training took her to Italy, Spain and the United States. Studying at the
University of Santa Clara and the San Francisco Art Institute, she obtained degrees in
Fine Art and Painting in 1985. She returned to Hong Kong in 1994 and since then, her
works have been exhibited both locally and in the US. Her works were also featured in
the recent Hong Kong Arts Centre’s 25m Anniversary Show.

The Corporation’s Architectural Manager Mr. Wilfred Yeung said, ” ‘Layers of Tradition’
measures nearly 40 feet in length and more than seven feet in height. Located close to
the heart of Tseung Kwan 0 Station, the mural painting forms a spectacular
centrepiece that enhances the aesthetics of the station, while helping to give
orientation to passengers in what is a relatively big station.”

“With its bold colour palette and interesting theme, we believe the new artwork will
enrich the style and character of Tseung Kwan 0 Station, adding much enjoyment to
passengers’ journeys,” he added.

The Art in Station Architecture programme is part of the MTR’s “Art in Stations”
Initiative. The programme aims to provide MTR passengers with a more pleasant
travelling experience and to help promote art in Hong Kong. Under the programme,
original artworks are integrated with the infrastructure of MTR stations to become a
permanent part of the stations.

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