Banana, 2011, ink and acrylic on paper Do you think you will be able to continue your career as an artist in the long run?
Yes, definitely. I’m quite lucky. I work part-time teaching art classes to children so I still have time to paint and so far my work has been well received, which I’m very grateful for.
What are some observations you have made as an art teacher to the younger generation?
It’s interesting for me when I’m teaching to see how some teachers and parents in Hong Kong react to their children’s paintings and skills. They seem to only want paintings that look a certain way or which seem beautiful to them rather than encouraging the child’s creativity. I often have parents coming to me and telling me, “I want him or her to draw like this!” or they’ll tell me that I have to help their child to win in an upcoming competition. But the problem with these competitions is that their standards are all the same. The person with the most realistic drawing always wins. I think the main problem is that they’re not allowing their children the creative freedom to explore their own styles and their own interests.
What are some ways by which we can encourage the public to be more interested in art here in Hong Kong?
I think it’s something people need to learn from a young age. If you don’t really understand it or if it’s never been part of your life, your history or your memories, it becomes hard to become interested later on. I remember when I went to Taiwan, China for an exhibition with some art schoolmates, and at the gallery I overheard a mother who was teaching her young child about the different artworks on display and who they were by. It was encouraging to hear a parent trying to educate her child about art from such an early age because now he will have some form or art knowledge. The sad reality is that in Hong Kong, this scenario is far less likely to happen.
KEE Magazine March 2013