It was an eventful and artful May which began with a mini linocut session with some friends. It’s always lovely to have several hours set apart to make art together… and friends who put together such a tasty spread for a mid-print break.
my blue dragon sea slug
This year I had the opportunity again to work with YoungLives during their weekend retreat. Last year was a painting workshop with the mums. This year, it was a very colourful mum and kids event. We did finger painting, a large collaborative floor painting and also a mum and kid piece. I’m quite liking how the Crayola Washable Kids’ Neon paint turned out. I usually stick with the classic colours but this was what was in stock at the store and I needed several packs.
the retreat location was in the same colour palette ; )
LUSH Live Central took place May 12-13 and showcased organizations addressing animal protection, human rights, and environmental conservation in Hong Kong. As part of Eco Marine, we focused on personal actions and highlighted various #1person1site projects. We brought to PMQ the #natureunnaturepile series for the ocean trash installation. On Sunday, we also led an ocean plastic upcycling art session which turned out whimsical and unique pieces of work by all who took part.
Ecomarine @ LUSH Live Central
Ocean plastic workshop
red light, green light
booth next door—no to shark fin
At the Affordable Art Fair, it was so lovely to see work from three of the artists that have been interviewed over at the Bizzie Bee blog—Kathy Lam, Gail Deayton and Sue Perks.
It was a delight to discover Gaspard Mitz‘s Box Stories as well.
A few favourites—Tracy Emin
and Gaspard Mitz
The Independent Schools Foundation Academy hosted an art workshop with their artist in residence Jennifer Mercede. It was so great to connect with other art educators from Hong Kong and China and have a morning for creative exploration and art making. A big thank you to Julie Emery, Head of Primary Art at ISF for organizing such a wonderful experience for us all.
Lizzie Bee Foundation led an event for Marriott’s service week. We were able to share with their staff about asylum seekers in Hong Kong and what that means for these mums with newborns and babies here. We taught the staff how to sew baskets to hold needed items that will be given to these families.
I made it back to Singapore in time to catch Yayoi Kusama’s show at the National Gallery Singapore! Earlier in the year, I was taking In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting from MoMA x Coursera (an excellent course if you’re looking for something to learn). Kusama was the last artist we studied and I happened to be in Singapore when doing some additional research and read about her show Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors at the Hirshhorn which I couldn’t get to in time : ( and the upcoming one in Singapore which was more feasible. I’ve come across her work here and there but have never had the opportunity to see such a large body of work together so was really looking forward to this.
infinity nets, 1952
The above red painting—Infinity Nets is one of my favourites from Life is the Heart of a Rainbow and was made with gouache, pastel and ink on paper in 1952. The exhibition room that held her black and white pieces from floor to ceiling was also quite stunning. There’s so much to see and discover in each piece of work.
A series of golden yellow oranges from the show…
dots obsession, 2017
pumpkin (twaqn), 2015
the spirits of the pumpkins descended into the heavens, 2017
and more dots and reflections.
invisible life, 2017
with all my love for the tulips, i pray forever, 2013-17
infinity mirrored room—gleaming lights of the soul, 2008
The Hirshhorn has organized a North American tour and dates are:
Art and Its Publics—What makes a Successful
The keynoters and panel speakers covered a lot ground. Conversations need to continue in guiding people towards embracing and understanding the necessity and power of the arts in our communities in whatever form they hold.
Apart from the confirmation that public/art/space/place/practice can never be fully defined or agreed upon ; ), some highlights, realizations, inspiration…
From the Factories—a website documenting the stories of artists and creatives utilizing space in the Kwun Tong factories and how things continue to be at odds with the revitalization policies of the government. This was especially interesting as I went on a walking tour last year organized by Hulu Culture to learn more about Kwun Tong’s history.
There’s been naturepile work happening on Lantau, Hong Kong created by Shekou International School sixth graders on their Week Without Walls trip.
It’s been exciting for me to follow along on their adventures and creations. Have a look here: @morganstudentart and also check out #naturepile. Tag yours as well if you fancy joining in on the fun :).
Here are the amazing marine wildlife sculptures I managed to catch in the Washed Ashore exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo before it ended.
Octavia the Octopus
Lidia the Seal
Sebastian James the Puffin
Flash the Marlin
See More the Sea Lion Pup
the accompanying signage was well done
“American” Sea Star—made from plastic resulting from July 4th celebrations
Chompers the Shark
Zorabelle the Rockhopper
Priscilla the Parrot Fish
Did anyone else watch Art Attack in the early 90s? Neil Buchanan’s Big Art Attacks were the best…as was The Head. Vik Muniz’s Waste Land also came to mind whilst looking at these. I only managed to find ten of the seventeen sculptures and missed meeting Herman the Sea Turtle, one of the five ocean ambassadors. Perhaps this was due to the many chipmunk encounters and some stalking of said critters on my part. They’re just so fascinating to watch.
I did of course pop in to check on the pandas…they’ve doubled in number since my last visit :).
snack time all the time
Have a look at what other exhibits are on view at the Smithsonian museums. It’s how I found out about this one.
Great start to the week having a workshop run through with some of the Kadoorie Education Department. It was a condensed version but gave me a better sense of logistics and flow, areas to focus on with students, and sections to refine. As usual, we definitely could’ve spent more time outdoors exploring in the recently cooler and drier weather! :)
observing and documenting
looking for examples of radial (or rotational) symmetry
creating our dishes whilst
thinking about colour, pattern, symmetry…
Which dish do you fancy?
I’ve also been observing and noting how different types of plant matter dry and decay
I officially began my art residency at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden earlier this month. These past few weeks have been spent exploring, prepping materials and planning workshops for October and November.
The area I decided to focus on is around the Art House and since it’s quite small on the existing map, I walked the space and drew out my own. This includes the fruit forest on the left and the area behind the Art House—the hills, waterfall, stream, Walter Kerr Gardens and Wildlife Walkthrough.
This is one of the enlarged maps, similar to the smaller ones participants will be using on their exploration and collecting walks. The waterfall pictured on the right is so far, my favourite place at KFBG. Can you find it on my map ; )?
Always delighted at discovering new things each time I go walking in the same places. This was the most interesting find of the day.
Some other visitors came by and said they were mushrooms but I showed them the stalk I think they fell from and convinced them it was a fruit of some sort. I made a quick naturepile of course—too good to pass by.
Here are some other items I came across and brought back to the art house. The shell is unexpectedly thin.
Before heading off to class, I met three of my four rescued neighbours. They live in the reptile garden next door. They’ve got much personality I feel inclined to make some art about them in the near future.
To the left is Pineapple Bun! He’s a radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata). Actually his name is Por-law-bao, which does mean pineapple bun in Cantonese. I totally see it in the shape of his shell. There are also two elongated tortoises—Kay and Sam, of which I only saw one. I have to study their markings a bit more to distinguish them apart. Lastly is Oak Ye, a bengal monitor (Varanus bengalensis) who was digging at that spot for quite a while.
That’s all for this week from Kadoorie as I won’t be going in again because of mid-autumn festival. Have a good one, eat a mooncake or two and take some time to look upon the moon.
This exhibit opened last week at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC). I meant to go on opening day but typhoon Nida also made an appearance so I ended up checking it out on Friday after teaching in the neighbourhood. There are activities and demonstrations scheduled throughout the day which you can register for in advance at the front entrance table. It wasn’t very busy when I arrived at 1:40pm so I took a look around at the exhibits and had a go at the tree-ring printing at two. One of the displays talked about the connected network of trees and I just came upon this piece in the New Yorker which is a fascinating read: The Secrets of the Wood Wide Web.
Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden
Twig installation above an autumn forest floor you can experience barefoot. The walls are calling out to you to draw leaves on.
Pangolin! I recently read about pangolins in a National Geographic magazine. I didn’t realize you can still find them in some protected areas of HK.
Add your fingerprint between the tree rings and choose an action card to make a change in your daily life for the betterment of the environment.
Wood carving demonstration by an artist but I didn’t stay for it.
Creating a frame for my tree ring print with twig shadows.
tree trunk sections
Learn about biochar being made at KFBG. These were my favourite ones.
Make nature pictures in the outdoor atrium space.
If you have elementary aged kids, they’d enjoy the space and activities so go see it before school starts up again this month.
Also in the neighbourhood…
Down the road from JCCAC are two other places you should check out:
Shek Kip Mei Estate—there’s an outdoor covered exhibition area about changes in the housing estate over the years. It’s a fascinating look into Hong Kong History and the Housing Authority.
Exhibition area map
They’ve all got cool names ; )
Some original brickwork… go find out when/what it’s from.
What games did your parents/grandparents play when they were kids?
Heritage of Mei Ho House Mei Ho House resulted from the 1953 Shek Kip Mei fire. It is now part hostel part musuem. Walk through the building to experience the history of the community and learn how public housing in Hong Kong came about. Closed Mondays.
carmel . chiang mai . vancouver
kenting . ymerbukta . taipei
singapore . san francisco . oslo
Apart from Chiang Mai where I lived for the month of October in 2014, these are a few of the places I was lucky enough to spend time in this past year—being in nature, catching up with old friends, encountering new ones.
2015 concluded in Hong Kong with #naturepile 127
It was strangely a year of equal high highs and low lows. Came across these words recently in The Grand Paradox. Continuing to work on the latter.
This year holds more additions of north american gems to the naturepile collection. East coast (and unexpectedly west again) I’m coming for ya! Midwest, fingers crossed, but I do need to finish up my school photo series. Squeezing in some koala spotting time as well as other projects in the works.
It’ll be an interesting one.
Where will 2016 lead you?
Stop from time to time to reflect, make a naturepile or two, and send some love. Have a creative and adventureful year.