Michelle Kuen-suet Fung is another up and coming Hong Kong artist, who will be hosting an opening reception for her newly refurbished studio on the coming Saturday, 12 November 2011. She is known for her ink and colour pencil drawings of trees with intricate details, exposing the roots and branches by having it afloat in midair much like jellyfish drifting in the ocean. I was very excited for the chance in speaking with Michelle about her art, her passion, and her new studio. Read along, and find out more about her art jamming sessions on Saturday’s cocktail, as well as how to cure a kid from drawing all over the walls!
How do you see yourself among a wad of Hong Kong artists?
After spending around twenty years in Vancouver, I see myself as part of the westernised generation, striving to produce quality pop surrealism work by referencing upon popular subcultures. Fairy tales, children’s pictorial books, and Otaku are all sources of my inspirations.
So why did I decide to come back to Hong Kong? Well, now is definitely an exciting time for Hong Kong artists, with a thriving boom in young local gallery managers alongside with young local artists. Having participated in local exhibitions like the Asia Top Gallery Hotel Art Fair 2010, I sense that Hong Kong artists are beginning to receive international recognition, as they work resiliently through Hong Kong’s reputation of being the cultural desert. I love the energy that this city brings forth, so that is why I decided to become a part of it.
How would you describe your artistic journey?
I have been told that I began drawing way earlier than usual, and as a toddler, I drew all over the wallpaper, so my parents decided to ask me to pick out our new wallpaper when we renovated, just to make sure that I love the pattern and won’t draw over it. Another one of my favourite childhood drawing spots would be under our coffee table, which turned out to be a rather well kept secret, because nobody found about my drawings until we were moving out a couple of years later.
I won’t be so bold as to say I decided to focus on draw the trees, but rather, I would say trees decided to let me draw them. It all started on a dark winter night a few years back, where I had the urge of drawing a tree that looks like something from a botany textbook, along with cocooned babies hanging from it. I guess it was just a whim then, but little did I know it will turn out to be such a long term project.
I took on a residency at the Banff Centre a while back, and it was a magical and irreplaceable experience. The place is flooding with dedicated artists, and I was baffled by all the inspiring discussions we have had. Having said that, I found some time in solitude as well, spotting the glaciers and deer, and really just appreciating the nature. I do hope to be back there at some point for the amazing insights.
After receiving so much support in my development as an artist, I find it a crime for not to be giving back! That is why I host private art classes for aspiring artists as well as keen amateurs, focusing upon portfolio review, creative and conceptual thinking, art appreciation and art history, along with studio practice and technical training. All the classes are tailor-made based on individual needs, and in particular, I do try to make things fun while inspiring. There will be a giveaway for my private art classes at the opening reception on Saturday, so watch out for that.
Tell me more about your opening on the coming Saturday!
The studio is somewhat my pad for creation, and it marks the beginning of my career in Hong Kong, so I am excited to be presenting my latest collection, Into the Woods, for the very first time in Hong Kong at my new studio. When people think of purchasing art pieces, what usually comes to mind is the phenomenal price tags like the ones being auctioned in Christie’s. My prints, made in Canada with long-lasting aqueous pigment inks and cotton watercolour paper, are classic yet affordable, and would look fantastic being hung at your home or office.
Like I said, there will be giveaways at the opening on Saturday, and if you are free on Sunday, 13 November 2011 or Sunday, 20 November 2011 as well, I will be doing a live drawing demonstration from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. Art studios aren’t suppose to be intimidating, but frequently they are, so I do try to make my opening reception more welcoming by inviting you all to art jam with me on the chill Saturday afternoon, splurging your creativity onto the lovely imported watercolour paper. If you don't usually go to art studio openings, come along, and I will personally make sure you are enjoying yourself!
Michelle Kuen Suet Fung – Private Studio Opening Reception
Address: 20C Asia Harvest Commercial Centre, 324 Shau Kei Wan Road
Date: Saturday, 12 November 2011
Time: 2:00pm to 6:00pm
Telephone: 6190 3920