Searching and collecting inspiration for a piece of art takes time, patience, constant effort and energy. How an artist does this reveals so much behind their thought process. Here, I ask four Hong Kong artists to tell the story behind the inspiration of their pieces, that each represents a different fragment of Hong Kong.
“Most of the found objects in my sculpture Protector (2018) are collected from my daily encounters and experiences of living in Hong Kong. Protector is composed of plastic egg packaging, and found objects including polystyrene packaging, chandelier crystal balls and a windshield that I found in Hong Kong, as well as seashells that I collected on a beach in the Isle of Skye, Scotland when I was living in the United Kingdom back in 2014. I found this oversized polystyrene packaging in Fo Tan when I was walking to my studio. This industrial neighbourhood has many automobile repair shops so I always used to find odd-shaped and oversized packaging that sparked my curiosity about what they had originally held inside.”
“Every night when my kids are asleep, I relax in my garden at home in Yuen Long. One time my attention was caught by a very bright full moon, and I decided to observe its subtle changes over time. We all know that the moon doesn’t change rapidly and it is actually the view that changes due to the coordination of the earth and the moon. It reminds me that I live in a chaotic world in which I am trying to rationalise a reality for myself to believe in. My work is about depicting things in my daily life – an understanding of what I see.”
Wing Po So
“Hiking with my parents was always a lesson in botany, with my dad telling stories about the plants as we’d walk by. Sometimes he would collect seeds or fruits on the ground to give me as gifts. A sword-like Damocles tree pod in Tai Po Kau Forest Walk is just one of the nature specimens he collected for me. When the pod splits, numerous round seeds with paper-thin wings drift away with the wind like dancing butterflies, thus the seeds are aliased as ‘thousand papers’ in Chinese.”
“In 2015, I found myself walking around North Point, a place I’m unfamiliar with. On a quiet street, I found a secondhand shop selling old ceramics, reclaimed wood and books. There was a Koi figure that caught my eye, but I didn’t buy it. I kept thinking about the Koi and, after a month or two, returned to buy it. I realised that the reason I was drawn to it was that my father used to run a restaurant in Shenzhen that I went to a few times a week as a kid and there was a giant koi fountain in the car park that I really loved. I haven’t been back since but it was obviously this powerful memory that spurred me on to buy the koi and that, in turn, inspired me to create a fountain art piece.”
EditorQueenie Rosita Law