See the Works of the Filipino Artists Featured in the 'Arts in Hong Kong' Campaign
The iconography of Southeast Asian art can be characterized by Hindu influences, Zen Buddhism, superstition, the supernatural, and some Austronesian knowledge systems. Our people are cut from the same cloth is what we're trying to say.
Hong Kong's visual languages are an interesting case study in their own right. While it is officially part of Southeast Asia, it also borders Northeast Asia. This has equipped the country's artists with different modalities of expression.
We can observe that Hong Kongese art has a sophisticated blend of both Eastern and Western traditions, evidenced by its Chinese heritage and Western colonial roots. Hong Kong celebrates the richness of this fusion through its perennial icons, like the The Big Buddha (Ngong Pin), Pillar of Shame (Pok Fu Lam), and Rainbow (Wan Chai), among others.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board's recent “Arts in HK with SEA artists” campaign is an ode to this diversity, as well. This year-long initiative is part of the country's goal toward being a center for cultural exchange in Southeast Asia.
This particular campaign includes works encompassing different disciplines and practices, such as pottery, digital illustration, embroidery, and more. Eighteen artists from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and, of course, the Philippines are featured here, too.
Thai digital artist Seatapron Korwanichakul submitted a series of artworks depicting the original characters from the show John Lulu and friends walking in Hong Kong.
Indonesian cube artist Abel Brata recreating the Hong Kong skyline.
“As an international arts and culture hub, Hong Kong is excited to engage, nurture and develop the next generation of local artists across the region, while giving them a platform to showcase their talents to the world," said Hong Kong Tourism Board Southeast Asia Regional Director Raymond Chan.
Chan explained that the campaign looks to "amplify" the potential of artists in the region, empowering them to futher pursue their craft and rediscover Southeast Asian values.
Each piece in the campaign hold clues to Hong Kong's vibrant past and present. Symbolism is strong here, as seen in the representation of traditional crafts such as Mahjong carving, weaving, and slipper embroidery, as well as the colors of the West Kowloon Cultural District.
Vietnamese visual artist Thuy Tien Thuphap did a painting of the 170-plus-year-old Tai Kwun, Hong Kong's largest art conservation project.
Vina Candrawati's sand art was inspired by her childhood memories of renting VCR tapes of the Hong Kong series Return of the Condor Heroes.
Meanwhile, the Filipino artists who are part of the showcase are Ciara Gan, Krissie Matteo, Celine Tabinga, and embroidery artist Mela Gonzales, who were chosen for their understanding of Hong Kongese styles and sensibilities. These young Filipino women also reflect the dynamism of Hong Kong and its artistic ecosystem.
“The inspiration for my painting came from the game of Mahjong as it has deep ties to Hong Kong’s culture. After attending the Arts in Hong Kong virtual event organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, I was fascinated by Biu Kee Mahjong and Mr. Cheung’s hand-carved tiles," noted Gan.
She added: "the art of hand carving Mahjong tiles is so unique, I wanted to create a piece that represents both the memories that come with playing and how Mahjong brings families and even strangers together."
Mela Gonzales, who is best known for her crochet and embroidery work, sporting her crochet top with the imagery of the Hong Kong skyline.
“Old and New Hong Kong” by Krissie Matteo.
A Mahjong and Goldfish Market-inspired vase by Celine Tabinga.
“The Art of the Game” by Ciara Gan.
We may view the entire "Arts in HK with SEA Artists" collection here.