Welcome back to our International Artist Series.
Today we're catching up with six incredible artists from Hong Kong, home of incredible history, a bustling skyline, and the talented people of East Asia. I asked each artist how their country and culture inspired their work, and they delivered great responses.
Panyeung is a designer and illustrator from Hong Kong. Full of culture and dynamic scenes, his work reflects his real-life experience as an artist living in this energetic city.
Leaving Hong Kong
Living in Hong Kong, the most fascinating thing is definitely its multi-cultural environment. When you walk down the street, you can easily find everything in your surroundings, from architecture, to food and language—all hugely influenced by different cultures.
The 14th Guangdong Dance Festival
Hong Kong is such a small place that people are living here in a crowded condition so most buildings along the main avenue combine their list of functions. Inside one building alone you could find that there is a wet market, a library, a gym room, or a gallery separated on a different floor.
Those crowded and detailed images stay deep in my mind and I've always wanted to reflect this kind of impression in my work.
The 12th Guangdong Dance Festival
Aging Population in Hong Kong
Many internationally well-known galleries create their branches here in Hong Kong. That is really good news for any art lover! Although art is not a mainstream industry in Hong Kong, people interested in art can really enjoy living or visiting this city.
Claire is a creative illustrator currently living in Hong Kong. Her joyous illustrations are not only sweet and beautiful but full of color and life.
Little Bear Blu
Even though I've been here for only five years, to me it's still very exotic and I find it incredibly interesting. I love the way the traditional culture spills out into the street in Hong Kong. It's not uncommon to see offerings of oranges and incense sticks nestled in and around the feet of skyscrapers.
In the village near my studio, there are mini street temples with little green tiled roofs, and I really love watching the older generation going about their daily lives with woven wicker hats, sampan and even hanging fish out to dry.
Hmong Woman and Child
I'm passionate about folk-art and ethno-cultural art forms. Hong Kong has really beautiful folk arts and crafts, and my favorite time of year is the Mid-Autumn festival. The colors are so inviting and cheerful—it's really magical to me.
I also came across embroidered bags woven by the Miao and Hmong tribes in Northern China, Laos and Thailand being sold in the markets here. That introduced me to a whole other world of amazing inspiration and I really fell in love with the motifs and traditional dress. Hong Kong is such a great place that just sets you off on a new journey of inspiration.
Year of the Rooster
The art community here is small but vibrant. In the studio where I work, there are textile artists, ceramic artists, graphic artists, and oil painters. We all sort of influence one another back and forth, and I've also met some lovely illustrators on Instagram. It's quite hard to socialize or find other like-minded creatives in such a business-oriented place. But yet we thrive!
Dixon is a talented graphic designer based in Hong Kong. His work features fantastic graphic design work with stunning visuals of design packages and more.
See more in his portfolio!
Paradox - Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
I love that it is always convenient to get around here and that nothing is ever too far away. I get so spoiled sometimes that I once felt a 20 minute walk to a live house was too much when I was touring with other bands in Taipei.
Like a lot of Hong Kong kids, I was taught it’s better to be as multi-talented as possible. So I like trying out different styles, tricks or gimmicks here and there in my design work.
In the area, there are mostly busy colors, overloaded neon signs, too many adverts everywhere, and color themed subway stations. So I guess it’s in my subconscious to use vibrant colors.
The Joker - Tuxedo
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The art community is pretty small here, I think, but closely knit. There are lots of indie or small scale collaborations between people of different fields and disciplines. It’s a nice little self-sufficient scene.
April Y. - Leafbear Studio
April is an artist who creates whimsical illustrations in Hong Kong. With a specialty in watercolor paintings, her work is delightfully unique with many pieces dedicated to fairy tales and yummy cuisine.
Watercolor - Into the Maze
I love the convenience of living in HK. Everything is so accessible as the transport system is very efficient. Also the food in HK is simply amazing. You can find all sorts of different types of cuisine here.
Watercolor Doodles - Once Upon A Time
I draw my inspiration from what I see and experience daily. Hong Kong is a very lively city where the Eastern and Western cultures truly blend. There are always new discoveries to be made when you walk on its streets and experience the energy and colorful life of the city.
It also has a very unique cityscape filled up with skyscrapers. So both the culture and the urban street scenes serve as a source of inspiration for me.
The Towers Series
Watercolor Doodles - Once Upon A Time
Apart from the increasing number of international art shows and exhibitions being held in Hong Kong, there are regular open studios, events, and weekend art markets for independent artists to showcase their work and to connect with other independent artists.
Our next amazing feature is Kitty, a traditional artist living in Hong Kong. With a fondness for the beauty and skill of pen and ink illustrations, her work spills into elaborate swirls of unique compositions.
See more in her portfolio!
Hong Kong has such a strong mix of Chinese and Western culture that it shows in everyday living and provides open minded thinking. We may not have the best environment for creativity and opportunity, but it certainly has room for those who strive to be persistent as creatives.
Chinese Zen Flower Doodle
In the past 20 years, I've worked with many talented creative people and launched fantastic projects in top international advertising agencies. Hong Kong's mix of culture provides constant stimulation and collaboration. So having new ideas is everyday practice. I only started creating four years ago and I've already had tremendous opportunities while having a full time marketing job in a new cultural destination.
In Hong Kong, like-minded artists become close and form collaborative projects, and art is very subjective in a way. But it's a global market and platform for many galleries, auction houses, and exhibitors. So international art events have been stimulating public interest in the recent years.
Our last artist is Ophelia, an imaginative illustrator living in Hong Kong. Her simplistic use of color and texture is absolutely intriguing, as she creates charming illustrations of the world around her.
See more in her portfolio!
A Cloudy Day
I love that Hong Kong is such a compact place where doing anything is very convenient.
We have food and cuisine from around the world and all types of services are just fast and efficient. People work hard and play hard. It is a city that never sleeps.
The Place That I Used to Know
I admire Matisse, Egon Schiele, Van Gogh, as well as Chinese artists such as Qi Baishi and Wu Guanzhong. I myself learnt Chinese sumi painting when I was small and then Western watercolor and oil painting when I grew older. My artistic styles are influenced by all of them.
The Place That I Used to Know 2
We have all sorts of design communities here, many of them are active groups on Facebook where artists and designers share their work and advice.
Many thanks to the artists who took time to answer my questions and share a bit about themselves and how their country and/or culture has affected their work. You can check out more of their work in the links below: