M+’s first music programme reveals how traditional ink art has inspired contemporary music. Chinese-American composer Lei Liang, the guest curator, has selected twelve works, from 1963 to 2013, by composers from Hong Kong, China, Japan and the United States. The playlist showcases the shared belief between visual artists and composers in the nurturing and evocative power of ink aesthetics, as well as the parallel developments of musical composition and visual art since the mid-twentieth century. The audio guide by the guest curator and the playlist are available on the exhibition website. They can also be accessed via the headsets at the M+ Pavilion.

Curatorial Note

About The Composers And Works

Scripts, Symbols, Strokes

1:  ‘Cursive ’
Chou Wen-chung
flute and piano



2: ‘ Sen V’
Toshio Hosokawa



3: ‘The Points’
Chen Yi
Chinese lute (pipa)



4: ‘Brush-Stroke’
Lei Liang
chamber orchestra


Desire for Landscape

5. ‘Over Ten Thousand Mountains’
Chan Wing-wah 
Chinese quartet: bamboo flute (dizi), mouth organ (sheng), fiddle (erhu) and zither (zheng)



6.  ‘Shades of Opera III – Sketch 1: The Reflections of Cranes in the Icy Pond’
Shen Ye

mixed chamber orchestra of nine Western and Eastern instruments



7.  ‘Harp Concerto’
Lei Liang
harp solo and chamber orchestra



8.  ‘Bright Light and Cloud Shadows’
Gao Ping
string quartet


Beyond Material

9.  ‘Merry Bacteria Music’
Hisatome Tomoyuki
flute/piccolo and alto-saxophone

i. Points Vivid


ii. Living Lines


iii. Phrases Vivid



10. ‘Ink Spirit’
Law Wing-fai
Chinese lute (pipa) and bowed-string


11. ‘Fugue of Distances’
Yeung-ping Chen
string quartet



12. ‘Two Poems’
Yao Chen



Music Credits

‘Cursive’ by Chou Wen-Chung from Chou Wen-Chung. New World Records #NWCR691 ℗ 1972, 1995 © Composers Recordings, Inc. © 2007 Anthology of Recorded Music, Inc. Used by permission.

Toshio Hosokawa: ‘Sen V’ from the album ‘deep silence’ WER 6801 2
Stefan Hussong: accordion
Courtesy: Schott Music & Media, Mainz, Germany,

‘The Points’ by Chen Yi, performed by Wu Man, music courtesy of Nimbus Records Used by permission.

Lei Liang: ‘Brush-Stroke’, published by Schott Music Corporation, New York. Performed by Callithumpian Consort conducted by Stephen Drury (from the CD Mode 210), © 2009 Mode Records. Used by permission.

‘Over Ten Thousand Mountains’ by Chan Wing-wah from InSense. Hong Kong Composers’ Works for Chinese Ensemble. 2005 RTHK Radio 4. Used by Permission.

‘Shades of Opera III—Sketch 1: The Reflections of Cranes in the Icy Pond’ by Ye Shen, SHCM 2006 Records, Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Used by permission.

‘Harp Concerto’ by Lei Liang from Lei Liang: Milou. New World Records #80715-2 2011 © 2011 Anthology of Recorded Music, Inc. Used by permission.

‘Bright Light and Cloud Shadows’ by Gao Ping. Performed by New String Quartet. Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc. Used by Permission.

‘Merry Bacteria Music’ by Tomoyuki Hisatome © 2003 by Zen-On Music Co., Ltd.

‘Ink Spirit’ by Law Wing-fai, from the album ‘The Silk Road Fantasia Suite’ performed by Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra and recorded by Modern Audio Ltd in 2005. Used by permission.

‘Fugue of Distances’ by Yeung-ping Chen, performed by JACK Quartet and recorded by UC San Diego Department of Music (engineered by Josef Kucera) in 2013. Used by permission.

‘Two Poems’ by Yao Chen. 2005 © Yaochenmusic. Used by permission.