Hong Kong cultural scene is not short of women artists, whether they are actress, singer, designer, painter, sculptor, multimedia artist, etc. And this is fortunately in constant evolution.
On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, we’d like to shed a particular light on five Hong Kong inspiring women artists from different generations, background and medium of expression.
WONG SZE WAI
Wong Sze Wai (b.1990) was born and raised in Hong Kong. She graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2013 and a Master of Fine Arts in 2020. She participated in an artist residency in Bulgaria in 2018. She is currently teaching at the Fine Art Department of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Her artworks focus on the relationship between memory and imagination. They highlight the loss of memories and represent the process of recollection in a way of inscription and erasure. She is fascinated by ruin for its metaphorical representation of lost and concealed memories.
From her experience of visiting ruins, wondering about ruins is much like recalling memories, imagining the history of ruins, just like imagining our own memories.
Wong Sze Wai, A Hut, 2022
Movana Chen is a Hong Kong-based artist who studied at the London College of Fashion and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University in Hong Kong.
Since 2004, she has been weaving people’s stories through KNITerature – a genre that involves the deconstruction and reconstruction of meanings and content by knitting books. Her work is a multi-disciplinary fusion of media, performance, installation and sculpture which has been presented at different exhibitions, art festivals and events globally, from Hong Kong to London, Paris, Venice, Rotterdam, Beijing, Singapore, Seoul, Istanbul to Siberia, etc.
Movana was one of the 30 finalists of the 2011 and 2012 Sovereign Asian Art Prize. Her works have been collected by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Louis Vuitton, Cathay Pacific and private collectors globally.
Movana Chen, Love Letters #1991, 2018
Dubbed Hong Kong’s “Queen of Singer-Songwriters” after winning the Commercial Radio Singer-Songwriter Awards for seven consecutive years, Ivana Wong (born in 1979) has been mastering the fields of music, performing arts and film since she emerged in 2005.
She wrote her own music as well as movie theme songs for which she received multiple nominations and awards (Missed Address for the movie A Beautiful Life, 2011; The Songbird Anthology, 2011; Stay White, 2012, etc.), she performed her own music in concerts and festivals in Hong Kong, Mainland China and abroad, collaborated with fellow Canto-pop artists like Hins Cheung.
She also appeared in musical theatre (I Love You Because, 2011) and played in several movies (including Octave, 2010; Golden Chickensss, 2014).
A versatile artist, Ivana turned her creativity to the visual arts in 2021, culminating in her debut exhibition, The Missing Something—The Singing Canvases, at ArtisTree, in which she explored the idea of sharing, kindness and gratitude.
Ivana Wong, The Singing Canvases, 2021
Socially engaged, sculptor Jaffa Lam (born in 1973) is specialised in large-scale, site-specific and mixed-media installations. She mainly uses recycled materials, like crate wood, old furniture, recycled fabric, abandoned metal and umbrella fabric.
More attached to the process of creation than to the final artworks, she has been representing ordinary people through her installations. Her works often explore issues relating to local culture, history, society and current affairs, and she’s been an advocate for art in public, craftsmanship and the regeneration of art making cycle.
In 2009, she started a community project Micro Economy in collaboration with the Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association, which has been showcased in many countries and shows, such as Setouchi Triennale, Japan, 2013, Hong Kong Week, Taiwan, 2015, China 8, Germany, 2015, Utopias/Heterotopia Wuzhen International Contemporary Art Exhibition, 2016, and Lumières, Lyon, France, 2018.
She is currently Academic Head of Hong Kong Art School and Chairperson of Hong Kong Sculpture Association.
Jaffa Lam, Rocking in Mini Zen Garden, 2020
Fatina Kong’s style of work has been exploring the combination of Chinese painting and Western media.
Traditional Chinese painting is to use ink, mineral colors, etc. on silk or paper. Although growing up in Hong Kong, she received mostly Western art training. In 2018, she visited Xining, China, to study Buddha painting thangka, and stayed in Japan for one month for an artist residency program. She realised that due to differences in language, beliefs, and lifestyle, these experiences make traditional Eastern paintings have a completely different composition, brush strokes, and feelings.
She is using the recordings and images from daily life to form a landscape that combines memories and fantasy. She combines ink, acrylic, Chinese pigments on silk as painting media, and the emptiness in painting achieves traditional Chinese aesthetic.
Fatina Kong, The Darling Buds of May, 2021
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