Dr. Yu Wai Luen, Francis

Associate Professor and
Coordinator of Associate Degree

Painting, Drawing

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Francis Yu went abroad to study art and gained a BFA in visual arts at York University in Toronto. After that he completed a MA in painting at the Royal College of Art in London, and furthered his study by pursuing a PhD in theory and practice of painting at China Academy of Art in Hangzhou.

Before joining HKBU, Yu taught full time at Hong Kong Art School and had taken up part time teaching posts at different art institutions.

Yu is committed to the idea that artistic practice constitutes research. His practice revolves around painting. He is interested in examining painting as a medium and as a practice, acknowledging its capacities yet attempting to expand its boundaries.

There are four sorts of elements presented through Yu’s paintings, including texts, images, objects and space. The core of his creativity is emerged from his mediation of texts, interpretation of images, accommodation of objects, and consideration of the spatial arrangement. Yu brings them together in order to disclose the struggle between multiplicity and unity taking place within his works.

In the past five years, Yu has taken the idea further. He intends to explore an interdisciplinary approach to marry his paintings with different art forms and artistic disciplines and capturing their continual interrogation in the process of totalization. He has initiated a series of projects to examine his conception of “total painting”, and the creative outputs have already been featured in six consecutive solo exhibitions and a number of group exhibitions.

Funded research projects:

  • Borrowed people: a comparative study of contemporary art in three Chinese cities, (GRF, RGC), principal investigator, 2014-17
  • Falling: totalization of painting (publication project, ADC), grant holder, 2015-17
  • An integrated approach for painting and ceramics, (FRG, HKBU), principal investigator, 2014-16
  • The physicality and chemistry of paint and its applications to painting, (FRG, HKBU), Principal investigator, 2012-13
  • The interrelationship of painting and photography, (FRG, HKBU), Principal investigator, 2011-12
  • Strolling on the water: exhibition project in Hangzhou (Arts Development Fund, HAB), grant holder, 2010-11

Over the last two decades, Yu has held eleven solo exhibitions and has presented his works in more than sixty group exhibitions in Hong Kong and abroad.

Solo exhibitions

2017        Eat & Drink & Fun, Art Formosa, Taipei

2016        Between the Tastes, Unit Gallery, Hong Kong

2014        Falling, Front Side Gallery & Black Box Theatre, JCCAC, Hong Kong

2013       Close to Poem, Close to Song, am space, Hong Kong

2013       Object of Affection, A-lift Gallery, Shenzhen

2012       The Marriage of 2P, Lumenvisum, Hong Kong

2007        The Presence of Words, Gossard building, RMIT University, Melbourne

2003        Language is Form, Grotto Fine Art, Hong Kong

2002        Visual, Verbal, & Body Languages, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong

2000        Recent works, Mary Ogilvie Gallery, Oxford

1994        Garbage Cans, Connoisseur Art Gallery, Toronto

Group exhibitions (selected)

2017        Some Interference, Cattle Depot On & On Theater, Hong Kong

2017        Composing Stories with Fragments of Time, Karin Weber Gallery, HK

2016        Black and Dark, START art fair, Saatchi Gallery, London

2015        Penetration and Reconstruction, New Who Art Musuem, Shenzhen

2015        Gaze of Sins, CVA gallery, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

2015        His Silent Disorder, Carol Lee Studio, Chai Wan Mei Festival, Hong Kong

2013        Melting Pot, CMC Gallery, City University of Hong Kong, HK

2012        Form, Colour, Line – Contemporary Hong Kong Painting, CVA Gallery, HK

2012        Hong Kong and A World, Liu Hai Su Museum, Shanghai

2012        Dialogue: an ART exchange meeting, Leo Gallery, Shanghai

2012        Cityzening, Vargas Museum, University of Philippines, Manila

2011        Strolling on the Water, Westlake Museum of Contemporary Art, Hangzhou

2011        Imaging Images, L1 Gallery, Hong Kong

2010        Asian Spirit, Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery, Mongolian

2009        21 Days, AVA Gallery, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

2008        HKAC 30th Anniversary Exhibition, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong

2007        October Contemporary, 1aSpace, Cattle Depot Artist Village, Hong Kong

2005        HK Union of Visual Artists, University Museum & Art Gallery, Hong Kong

2004        Asian International Art Exhibition, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan

2004        In Touch with Visual Arts, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong

2003        Mapping Asia, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong

2003        Embracing the New Century, China National Museum of Fine Arts, Beijing

2002        Asian Int’l Art Exhibition, Daejeon Municipal Museum of Art, Korea

2001        The Asian Multicultural Value, Guangdong Museum of Art, China

2001        Killing Time, Propeller Centre for Visual Arts, Toronto

2001        Hong Kong Art Biennial, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

2000        Towards 2000 Towards Paris, UNESCO Headquarter, Paris

2000        Artlink@Sotheby’s International Young Art, Chicago & Tel-Aviv & Vienna

2014        Residential studio program, The Pottery Workshop, Jingdezhen

2007        International Artist in Residence, RMIT University, Melbourne

1998       Residency at Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris

1998       Po-Shing Woo Charitable Foundation scholarship, UK

1997       Swire Foundation scholarship, UK

1997       British Council postgraduate grant, Hong Kong

1994        Second runner up, Philippe Charriol Art Competition, Hong Kong

1993       Warner Lambert Printmaking Book Prize, University of Guelph

1992        Jack Bush Scholarship, York University, Toronto

I think of my teaching approach as painting a door and drawing a bridge, with the purpose of taking students go over to the other side. And I want to see my students as thoughtful creators and independent thinkers, be able to find their keys to open the door and walk at their own pace to cross the bridge.