Garden project to raise awareness and to raise funds to preserve and renovate that area. It was a real fine art project and involved Katy Tse. The collection did really well, to everyone’s surprise, and all the editions sold out. RAW: Can you tel l us more about the concept and the process to your latest col lection “Al l Under Heaven”? OM: My most recent series called “All Under Heaven” includes a lot of large bubbles. I took three to four months to perfect the giant bubbles and all of my friends thought that I was going mental. I wanted to create giant bubbles, like floating sea mammals in the air. Another painter that really inspires me is Dali, so it was kind of like his paintings—the melted kind of look. I like to create art that people like to hang on the wall. I wanted to create something simple, but people don’t like simple, so I need to translate it into something more complex. The pieces I create are very detailed with strong vibrant colors, lots of texture—and yet, are very harmonious in a way. I have lots of symmetry in my artwork because it’s very relaxing to the eye, yet I have asymmetrical movements so that it’s not too static.
Once I had the bubbles, I needed a great landscape. I have always wanted to shoot in Guilin. Dr. Sun Yat Sen once said [of the picturesque region], “It’s a place all under heaven”, which is how I titled the show. I like panoramic formats because it’s more cinematic and that’s how we see the world. I need a location that has the space and is absolutely timeless. We traveled with a team of 14 people with 500 kilos of cargo. The water in China is not the same in China, so I could not do the bubbles the same way as in Hong Kong. I had to shoot the bubbles in HK in my studio later, but it all came together very well. RAW: How was the exhibition received in Saigon? OM: I brought the “All Under Heaven” series to Saigon and had a solo exhibition where I created three new pieces for that exhibition. To my surprise, it was very well received. I was originally quite reluctant, knowing that Vietnamese people don’t really buy art yet, but people were completely overwhelmed by my photography. It literally sold out. That’s why I really want to focus on Vietnam right now. All the buyers want me to do something in Vietnam because they are very proud of their country.
RAW: What are some of the most memorable moments on set? OM: The picture I took of Daniel Wu in the forest was definitely memorable because I had to make him hike one hour into the forest and then made him change in the forest; I was worried about all the monkeys. It was a great shoot because everything went well and it was one of my first big local celebrity collaborations. The Dragon Garden with Kay Tse (謝安 琪) was absolutely iconic. This was my big game changer because it was my first real fine art project. Because I’ve worked with her already, it was easier to approach her. I designed her custom dresses, we suspended her in mid-air and we even had her stand in water—that was a very memorable shoot. She loved it so much that she actually purchased one of the artworks herself. And of course, it was very memorable shooting Sharon Stone as that was my first Hollywood experience—she has always been the iconic Hollywood star. I must admit that it does feel different; the charisma and the energy she portrayed was so intense that I was quite intimidated. Prestige magazine had us shooting with all of these animals (lions, elephants,
Balloon Dragon 23