Feeling Nourished by 3 weeks in Hong Kong in the 'blog Section'
Just got back from three amazing weeks in Hong Kong…
Though I brought art materials I did not draw or paint, instead I took hundreds of photos as research for a book and to use in paintings I will work on over the summer. There was just so much to look at and take in – I loved finding scenes to photograph – creatively that was enough.
The juxtaposition of colour and texture is what I love about Hong Kong – a shop window of gaudy plastic cakes next to a wet market with fish alive in tanks, chosen and chopped into fresh fillets a few seconds later.
For me, there is beauty everywhere – old against new, colours bright, florescent, faded, dull, crimson chinese red drawing the eye in amongsst a jumbled mass of metal mailboxes adorning the entrance to a stairwell leading into a virtical world with enterprise on every floor – the quality optician someone recommended on the 32nd, the factory outlet on the 12th. Where else on the planet can you see brass-gold mirrored buildings reflect the worn stone of the steps on Ladder Street next to the longest escalator in the world, commuters in their thousands journeying to work in this exciting few square miles. Turn a corner and it’s not just a visual journey – I’m taken through a bombarment of interwoven scents, powerful and compelling, from gutter water to fresh melon, camphor and tiger balm to foul fish bins, deep fried tofu or wet humid air – its sweet and compelling and repulsive all at the same time and my mind is awakened, inspired, alert.
Its hard to put into words what Hong Kong is, what makes it unique. I admit I am biased – I grew up there and I love every scent that takes me back to childhood. And the colour everywhere – in signs and blocks and shapes and lights, all day and all night, that has totally influcenced my world and my work. A bamboo floorbrush standing by a rich red plastic bucket, the watchman’s straw hat wedged into the metal pipes by the entrance next to bamboo scafolding on a 100 storey highrise.
I love that you can buy still buy plastic toy sets and florescent orange cable ties and rope and ribbon and raffia, and every variety of scented stationary and bowls and cups and bags and clothes, everyday beauty in household things commonplace and abundant in Sham Shu Po, and I want to take it all home. And you can get a bus through the tunnel and 10 minutes later get off at a clean sandy beach, or take the subway or “Mass Transit Railway” – to Chai Wan, exit up to an old town, or the countryside, or Shenzhen, actually in mainland China.
A lot to capture in my next set of paintings, but I want to try.