Even though we complain about the stressful urban life in Hong Kong a lot, yet, people have a love-and-hate relationship with this small piece of land; life is tough, but it doesn’t affect our love for this piece of land.
Hong Kong artist DON MAK is holding his exhibition “Once Upon a Hong Kong” at Parallel Space, including a series of watercolour artworks of Hong Kong street views. This exhibition exhibits works across 2018 and 2019; as Hong Kong has gone through quite a lot during 2018 and 2019, DON MAK thinks that those works do not capture the same Hong Kong, in fact, the Hong Kong that the works recorded can be very different, in terms of time and context.
The elongated canva is filled with plentiful scenes and contents; looking at the work from left to right, like a short clip of the street view, there is a story at every corner of the work. The gentle colors on lovely characters and buildings create a lively image of this city. Each of the cute characters in the painting has their own lives, making the audience feel like they are one of the characters in the painting. You can definitely find yourself in one of these works. You may be a member of the society, or you may be having yum-cha in the house; it is a realistic portrayal of life as a Hong Kong-er.
The mesmerising details at every corner of the city, encourage the audience to observe the artworks closed-up; the variation in perspectives also gives the audiences a fun experience to take time to observe.
The themes in DON MAK’s artworks tend to be more local and down-to-earth; there are old buildings in Hong Kong, tourists’ spots, hillside neighbourhoods, MTR, and etc; every work is an epitome of the most iconic scenes in Hong Kong. There are also different groups; there are pedestrians, there are students, office workers; you can always find yourself in one of those.
The artworks might not be the most accurate record of those views of Hong Kong, instead, there are blurry edges of lines and lights, giving these water-colour artworks a different beauty of fantasy. Although, reality can never be as wonderful as artworks portray it to be, these refined scenes could still give us a touch of comfort, and discover the charms of this city.
ONCE UPON A HONG KONG
Date: 20.6.2020 ~ 11.7.2020
Shop 202, Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon