Vines Project

I like to paint when I was a child.  But I gave it up when filling up my application form of university as everybody told me it’s difficult to earn a living with brushes and paints.  Another reason was I had an eye disease in form three.  My doctor told me not to overload my eyes and I could hardly imagine a blind person who could paint.

It has been a long road when I crushed it in my arms some ten years ago.  I took elementary painting classes in my forties and vines was the first object that impressed me.  To me, this slender plant symbolize small changes spreading out unnoticed.  First, I drew it to express the pervasive infiltration of Chinese influence into Hong Kong.  While doing news in recent years, I learnt that people have contrasting attitudes towards China’s influence.  This inspires me to develop the ‘vines’ idea into a series —- to show different reactions of the insignificant under immense political pressure: to rebel, to yield, to welcome, to forget …..  Expanding the symbolic meanings of ‘vines’ enriches the messages in my pictures.

Extension (2008)

Extension (2008)

50 X 40 cm

Oil on Canvas

Extension was the picture I began drawing vines. I chose it as the first picture in my solo exhibition The Other End as my artist statement.  The slandering plant is a symbol to me, conveying the kind of influence from China upon Hong Kong. Vines’ creeping form shows tenacious vitality and persistent extension.

Knot (2016)

Knot (2016)

60 X 50 cm

Oil on Canvas

Knot is a picture cut up into several geometric sections.  Vines are the key element, symbolizing people’s discontent towards the political situation in Hong Kong.  Three-dimensional and two-dimensional flat vines were displayed in contrasting colors to show the tension between reality and ideals.

The Well (2018)

Origin (2018)

120 X 100 cm

Oil on Canvas

There is an old Chinese idiom saying: glancing at the sky from the bottom of the well. I transform it into this painting, with the big ‘O’ as either the opening of a well or the earth seen from afar. Earth is the origin of life, beginning of everything, but at contrast a corner of the sky seen from the perspective of a frog at the bottom of the well is a limitation, a dead end. Through the ambiguity of the ‘O’, I ask such a question: what are we looking for? What are our desires and hatred? Do we really know ourselves?

Vines in this picture symbolize the idea of unnoticed external forces exerted upon us. These include mounting socio-political tensions in the sociedty, evolving ethics and atmosphere in the working environment, and even subtle changes in character and perspective at a personal level. Some people take it as constrain in resentment and fight back, while some others welcome it or accept it as a fact of life. This drags me into introspection at a more fundamental level. What is ‘constrain’? What is the ‘self’ In contrast with ‘constrain’? These queries lead me back to the ‘well’, the origin: what is our ‘self’ at the very core that distinguishes between ‘me; and ‘others’ or ‘us’ and ‘them’.

City (2016)

City (2016)

60 X 50 cm

Oil on Canvas

I have been searching for a symbol for city landscape, not sketching the city building by building, yet viewers would still easily identify it. Through repeated experiments, I use simple rectangular strokes to compose a ‘city’. These almost monotone colour blocks gives me plenty room to add in the vines pattern so as to create a ‘vines-occupied-city’ effect.

Fragments (2018)

Fragments (2018)

60 X 50 cm

Oil on Canvas

Private Collection

It is an attempt to compose a picture as colorful as possible, but not in florals.  So i turn to fragments.  With the disintegration of the figure, i seek to protray the status of metamorphosis.

Home

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s