Hong Kong Tourism Board brought together 18 diverse artists across Southeast Asia (SEA) to create art pieces inspired by perennial icons of Hong Kong. This initiative, “Arts in HK with SEA artists” is an extension of the year-long “Arts in Hong Kong” by generating awareness of the city’s always-on, diverse experience of arts and culture, and establishing Hong Kong as a center for international arts and cultural exchange.
“Arts in HK with SEA artists” campaign features artistic talents from the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The collection of artwork spans across a spectrum of genres from painting to digital illustration, pottery, embroidery, sand art, and more.
“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. By amplifying the potential of artists through this initiative, we hope to positively shape and empower artists within the local arts community in the region,” said Raymond Chan, Regional Director of Southeast Asia at Hong Kong Tourism Board.
Art holds clues to life in the past and present. By looking at a work of art’s symbolism, we can learn, rewind time, and experience a culture that is different from our time. The creations by the 18 Southeast Asian artists explore different facets of old and new Hong Kong – some celebrate traditional crafts such as Mahjong carving and slipper embroidery while others look towards the future with the modern M+ museum and the West Kowloon Cultural District.
One of the artists invited to be part of this project is Ciara Gan, a painter and content creator from the Philippines. Ciara is best known for designing and hand-painting her high school prom dress. The video of her making the dress went viral, garnering over 8.5 million views online.
“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 Cheung’s hand-carved tiles. 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,” said Ciara Gan.
“Collaborating with the Hong Kong Tourism Board is an exciting opportunity for me because I love Hong Kong culture and Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities in the world. Furthermore, to be selected for this campaign is truly a humbling experience as it validates all the hard work that I have put in to perfect my craft,” said Kent, an illustrator from Malaysia.
Mela Gonzales, a crochet and embroidery artist from the Philippines shares, “It’s been a long time since I was last in Hong Kong, but I can’t wait to visit again. It is heart-warming to see so many Southeast Asian artists coming together, bringing expertise from different artistic expressions to celebrate Hong Kong. I hope one day we can all gather in Hong Kong to see its iconic skyline in person once again.”