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Song of Birth - The Collected Fragments

John McArthur

Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

John McArthur

An Australian artist, John McArthur has been a resident of Hong Kong since 1999. He has regularly held solo exhibitions and participated in group shows internationally. His work is a combination of drawing, calligraphy, and painting. These artworks are included in private collections in Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and the United Kingdom.


Within Hong Kong, John is a member of a number of organisations in the artistic community. He collaborates with the artist community, curating exhibitions, organising regular life drawing, free public art events and presenting art lectures. He has worked from his studio, “Spitting  Gecko 泉湧壁虎" , based in  the  JCCAC (Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre) for the last 13 years.


John was formally trained in visual arts, majoring in painting and drawing at U.S.Q Australia. He has continued studying by attending various courses at calligraphy schools and art workshops in Hong Kong, Australia, Italy and the U.S.A.


An Australian artist, John has been a resident of Hong Kong since 1999.


John McArthur has been captivated by his environment. Residing in Asia, he responds to the physical and social environment by creating connections to the visual elements of the surroundings. Specific elements appear in his art, such as Chinese opera masks, the colours of the theatre and texture of the costume. He reinterprets these as his own narrative. He uses the mask in various forms, as a metaphor for connection, concealment, and interaction. The human body and portraits are also a dominant inspiration for his own visual imagery. The face and body, nude or costumed are key elements in his visual narratives, McArthur responds by using lines, shapes and textures in different forms such as drawing and painting. He favours the techniques of layering and collage of his own drawings, painting and found material. Chinese ink, brush and paper are common materials used by McArthur, often framed as traditional silk scrolls. Graffiti and lettering, the layering and texture of letters also has had a profound effect and is often represented as a common theme in his work. These themes and elements have developed a unique personal style that continues to evolve with the use of experimentation and discovery.


Approach – Artwork is created by using layers of drawing, painting and collage techniques. 





  • Moon Gallery, Kwun Tong, Sport Art Exhibition, Hong Kong

  • 4-11 May, “STRIKE A POSE - Life Drawing exhibition”, organised by John McArthur - Spitting Gecko Studio. Artists: Andy Fung, Janice Law, John Gale, Kong Tse, Simon Shingleton, John McArthur, L1 Central Courtyard, JCCAC, Hong Kong

  • 13 April, “Three Walk Together II”, Central Courtyard, JCCAC, Hong Kong



  • January, "Four Corners of the Earth," L7 JCCAC, Hong Kong

  • July, "Bodies 2020", L7 Greenspace, Solo Exhibition, JCCAC, Hong Kong



  • “Decade'nce”, Central Courtyard, JCCAC, Hong Kong

  • "Emerge", Mount Morgan Gallery, Qld, Australia 



  • 14 December 2018 - 13 January 2019,"Factory Forward" Group Exhibition, JCCAC Festival 2018,  L0 & L1 Galleries; L1 Central Courtyard; L7 Green Space, JCCAC, Hong Kong

  • 8-21 June, Collected Fragments - Swing A Cat Gallery, To Kwa Wan, Hong Kong

  • April, “HeART Walk”,  H Gallery, Sai Kung, Hong Hong



  • 9-10 December, “Sai Kung Art And About”, STREET ART FAIR, Hong Kong

  • July,  “Fragments”, Solo Exhibition, The Bridge Art Space, Thailand



  • 15  January, JCCAC Visual Art Group Exhibition, Hong Kong

  • 19 February, “Tribute – Tarie HO”, Group Exhibition, Curated by John McArthur, Level 0 Gallery, JCCAC, Hong Kong

  • 19-20 March, “Sai Kung Art and About” Art Fair and Exhibition, Mei Yuen Street & Tin Hau Temple Square, Hong Kong

  • Asian Watercolour Expression "Hallo Hallo Bandung", Group Exhibition, Indonesia

  • “Incheon Global Cities and Exchange Grand Festival Exhibition”, Group Exhibition, Seoul

  • October, “Mix And Mingle”, Group Exhibition, Art Charity, The Hive, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

  • 1 - 29 September, “FACADE”, Painting exhibition, Purple Lounge and Bar, Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong

  • October, “Mix And Mingle”, Group Exhibition, Art Charity, The Hive, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

  • 3-4 December, “Sai Kung Art And About” - Hong Kong Council Art Event, Sai Kung, Hong Kong



  • 11-17 September, “Incheon Global Art Exhibition“,  Incheon Metropolitan City Arts Association, Incheon, Korea



  • Ignite, Lightning, Guest Speaker

  • April, “Ritual”, Level 0 Gallery JCCAC, Hong Kong

  • September, VIVE L’ HOMME exhibition,  Lust for Life Gallery, Brisbane, Australia



  • 19 January, Face To Face Life Drawing Exhibition and Art Event, John McArthur curated Group Show, JCCAC Podium, Hong Kong

  • Senseless Art Event The Russian Dolls, Group Exhibition, Tin Hau, Hong Kong

  • “Portraits:The Brick House Collection”, The Brick House, Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong

  • “5” Exhibition, Group show, JCCAC, Hong Kong



  • “Unchanged over Time”, Solo Exhibition, Café Golden Art Showroom, JCCAC, Hong Kong

  • Four Year Celebration - JCCAC 石硤尾藝術村四年來回展 (Loi Wui Zin), Hong Kong

  • November, “Seven Deadly Sins”, Voxfire Gallery, Hong Kong

  • 「創世2012——深圳F518左街創庫六周年展」, End of Era Artbase F18, Shenzhen, China



  • 19 March - 19 April, commissioned by Hong Kong Arts Development Council

  • B Festival Art Exhibition, JCCAC, Hong Kong

  • “YES THE DOOR IS OPEN”, Contemporary Art Exhibition, L1 Gallery, JCCAC Artists, Hong Kong

  • “Lai See”, Koru Contemporary Art Exhibition, Koru Gallery, Hong Kong



  • “BODY SESSIONS” the Exhibition, L1 Gallery, JCCAC, Hong Kong

  • Nam Song International Art Fair 2010, Seongnam Arts Centre, Korea



  • “DRAGON FLIES, MOON DANCES”, The Fringe Gallery, Hong Kong

  • ING Mini Art Walk, IFC Tower, Hong Kong

  • Art And City, Hong Kong JCCAC Artists Exhibition, Hong Kong

  • Retrospect, Reborn, ABC Calligraphy Exhibition, Wanchai, Hong Kong

  • KLOMPF - Three Pacific Place, Exhibition and online Auction, Hong Kong

  • ONE, JCCAC Spitting Gecko Studio and Common Areas

  • 3rd Nam Song International Art Fair, Seongnam Arts Centre, Korea




  • 6 January, "BODY TALK EXHIBITION", Fotan Artists Open Studios 2008

  • Thematic Exhibition III - "My Developmental Path", JCCAC, Hong Kong

  • August, “People Mountain People Sea”, Koru Gallery, Hong Kong



  • “Body Search”, Fo Tan Joy Art Studio, Hong Kong

  • THE FACE OF ASIA < Paintings & Photography, Economist Gallery, several Hong Kong-based artists, including Kat Cooper, Haruka Ashida, Amy Atkinson and John McArthur.

  • May, Artist in Residence II - Portal - Work and Play

  • 27 October, Art of Gift, Gift of Art 2007 - Koru Gallery, Hong Kong 

  • “The Colours of Hong Kong”, JCCAC, Baptist University, Hong Kong



  • “Australia: Art and About”, Koru-HK Gallery, Hong Kong

  • 30 June, MELANGE, Yoga - Fitness Studio, Hong Kong

  • "Figure Heads Return 2006", Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, Hong Kong

  • “Art of Gift...Gift of Art”, Koru-HK Gallery, Hong Kong



  • “Give Peace a Chance" - Calligraphy Exhibition, Artland Gallery, Hong Kong

  • “TRANSITIONS”, Koru-HK Gallery, Hong Kong



  • Celebration – Group Calligraphy Show, Wesleyan University, Ohio, U.S.A

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