How did you begin your art journey?
I was born in the States but raised primarily in Hong Kong. The most influential part in terms of my art practice actually started in Hong Kong. As a kid I had to use ink for calligraphy exercises, I am fortunate to have that, without the training I would’t have got my background in this ancient Chinese art form. I work with ink paintings, and also three-dimensional works. I would like to continue to do more three-dimensional projects, and explore the idea of 3D ink painting.
Why did you use ink as the medium for art-making, among all different materials?
When I was at the States, I was taught to use more western mediums like oil, acrylics, charcoals, and I focused on that. And then, I had an eye surgery, I cannot work for long periods. So I return to ink, it was a challenge as it dries fast and I have to be very sure of what I was doing, then I realised I enjoyed it so much, and missed it so much. I think this is what artists have to go through in different periods to find out how they should evolve.
What is your artistic process like?
While I am making art, I have to be completely absorbed in it, allow the flow of spontaneous and instantaneous expression. It requires a full investment of energy, I cannot pause, I cannot walk away when I am doing a painting.
What inspires you the most?
I always want my work to have an organic quality, like it is moving and implies a transformation state. That’s why a lot of living things and moving things inspire me, they have the most capacity to change.
Some of your works are rather abstract, do you mind if audience see something that is not intended in your works?
Usually when I make an artwork, I have an intent, but the intent doesn’t matter as much as what people extract from it. The nice thing about art in general is that there is no right or wrong answer. I want to be able to express something, but at the same time I would also like to allow people to withdraw the meaning they see. I would be just as happy if people look at my work and say they feel something from it.
Who influenced you the most during your artistic journey?
Artist Wei Ligang, who is a genius calligrapher. I just came back from Beijing after an artistic residency at his studio. Working in his place and with him brought my work to the next level; every time I go there, hearing what he has to say, having the benefit of his experience and mentorship helped me as an artist to grow. And I also learn to know what I want to express and how to express it effectively.
How do you feel about the art environment in Hong Kong.
What I like about Hong Kong is, the enthusiasm around art, and its availability. All these fairs, events and happenings, they get people to come, they make it convenient for people to go see art – serious collectors, not-so-serious collectors, families… It leads to all these other events that encourage people to go see art. To be an artist now, here in Hong Kong is quite a boom. As a contemporary Chinese artist who works with ink, I can feel the interest and excitement about it.
What kind of artwork do you like?
Work that convey a sensation or material to me is good art. To me, it is important that for a work to create a response, a personal connection, when you look at the work there is something that draws you in.
Why do you love art?
People say art is a mirror, and it really is a mirror. It shows you a lot, about the people looking at it, almost as much as it says about the artist. This is one of the reasons why I really love art, art reveals the people who go see it as well.
“Curiosity is what makes Hong Kong a great place for an artist to work.”
About Chloe Ho
Favourite Book: The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch
Favourite Film: The Talented Mr. Ripley