there’s something about certain pieces or artists that just immediately stands out, and there is undoubtedly something about Kwong Wing Kwan’s work that is instantly endearing. We knew we had to pay her a visit. “It was something I heard from my parents when I was a kid,” Kwong tells me of the ‘moon ear’ piece when I visit the artist at her studio, a space she shares with a few of her ex-art school classmates. “Our parents taught us not to point and they also told us that when we point to the moon, our ears would get cut off. So I just thought, well, if that’s the case, all those craters on the moon must be the ears of naughty children!” A pixie-like girl dressed in an art smock with a quirky sense of humour, she floats around her studio showing us her pieces and her experiments with mediums and subject matter while picking at a punnet of strawberries. Afterwards we sit down and 24 year-old Kwong reveals her story of being a fresh art school graduate in Hong Kong.
What are some challenges that you face as a young artist in Hong Kong?
Finding a space. If I want to paint works as large as the ones I do, there is no way you could do it in an average Hong Kong home without kicking all of your family members out of the living room. Plus rents in Hong Kong are notoriously expensive. I think it might sway the government if they knew that artists really don’t need anything too fancy… we are happy with even the most basic space; just look at where we are now in these industrial buildings with not a hint of luxury. The space I’m in now is messy, but you should have seen it before! Nevertheless, my friends and were happy to take the time and make it our own with a few minor improvements. Cheaper rent for just an empty space would already mean so much to us young artists in Hong Kong.
Published on Apr 17, 2013