Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Curvy 8 - Feature & Interview

What impact has the place you grew up in had on your work?

I wasn’t born rich and I grew up in one of those public housing estates in Hong Kong which has a pretty high suicide rate and a lot of domestic problems (it was common to see people jump off and die, I saw my first dead body at the age of 8, that image is still stamped in my mind). Even though I no longer live there I still dream of that place frequently. For some reason, the place is always so gloomy and creepy in my dreams, not like I had an unhappy childhood there. People are curious about the obscure atmosphere in my work, sometimes it’s the subject matter that I don’t want to illustrate with a happy and colorful palette. Other times, I think I project this atmosphere in my paintings unconsciously. I’m glad that I grew up in such a place though, where I was raised to be sensitive to my surroundings.

What mediums do you tend to use in your work? Are there any others you'd like to try?

The majority of my work is painted digitally. Regardless of its flexibility, I still prefer to paint brush stroke by brush stroke using a drawing tablet. I work with layers and self-made brushes but I don’t use built-in filters and effects. I also work with traditional media every now and then. I am especially interested in sculpture, I think this is something that I would like to explore one day.

How do you come up with the concepts for your work?

I like to combine realistic subject matter with surreal elements which are greatly inspired by my dreams. I like to touch people’s emotion and let them come up with their own interpretation when they study my work. I am always hit by a strong vibe of emotion when I paint, it’s crazy, sometimes I think my work has a mind of its own and it feeds off my emotion. When I don’t have a solid concept, I would just let my mind wander and pick up random thought fragments while I doodle. A great idea is born this way sometimes. If I play around with it more, It could turn out to be a complete different concept. I guess it’s good since I don’t want to limit myself to just one single idea.

What is it that inspires you?

Sometimes from dreams, sometimes from the vision I see before I fall asleep, sometimes from an instantaneous idea that sparks in my head. They hit me at random time and they always turn out to be really interesting elements which I could use in my work. Especially dreams, I have very crazy, vivid, tangible and symbolic dreams and I remember them in precise detail. Other than that, I am also inspired by music, especially music without lyrics, social injustice, the human condition, shades of colors and things that happen around us.

What motivates and drives you to be creative?

Honest and constructive feedbacks from people, it helps me to grow and improve. Beautiful works by other artists or a really good piece of music can also lure me into a creative mood. I also like to look at my old work and find out things that I could have approached better. Art to me is not just a hobby but also my passion and career. I’m thankful that I get to chase my dream and do what I enjoy doing, I think the passion for it is the biggest motivation of all.

Purchase Curvy 8 here