Guest Blog Post:
An Artist Interview by Helena Chung
Portrait of an Artist in Art Next 2019: Alice Chan
"My aim is to introduce new perspectives to art through incorporating Chinese traditional techniques with Western sensitivity in my work. I believe that artists should strive to find inspirations and seek enlightenment in everyday life."
- Alice Chan
One may argue over the importance of art in Hong Kong, which has traditionally been regarded as a city dominated by finance. However, this city does indeed have an impressive number of art lovers, as many braved challenging circumstances to attend the 2019 edition of Art Next Expo in the first week of November, held in the renovated heritage building PMQ which is located in the heart of Central, near high end art galleries of the city. This beautiful site dedicated to art lovers in the city provides a surprising corner of peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolitan. Indeed, the power of art has never been more important in these times of difficulties, as we all seek for temporary comfort and escape from the chaos on the streets. Art Next offered a mixture of fresh faces and established names, with budding newcomers and award winning artists all returning to showcase their latest collection to the public.
Alice Chan, one of the fresh faces featured in Art Next Expo this year, delivered an impressive collection that showcased a variety of artistic styles and experiments across the East and West, combined with the creativity of a contemporary artist who aimed to reach and engage with her audience directly. Educated in Hong Kong and the US, Chan’s works had been showcased in both local and international exhibitions. With the impressive achievements of holding an exhibition in her alma mater St Paul’s Co-educational College under her belt, she was featured as one of the rising contemporary young artists on The Standard, a major English newspaper well established in Hong Kong. Chan’s artworks embodied the techniques of traditional Chinese ink art and Western paintings. The subjects of her artwork included floral patterns, natural scenery, still life and abstract ink wash paintings.
During the four-day exhibition in Art Next Expo 2019, one of the most eye-catching pieces on display was definitely Chan’s triptych The Orchestra of Life. The collection was selected to undergo a highly selective juried process by a panel of art experts and curators. The bold use of colors, and the unique combination of Chinese ink, acrylic paint and Japanese watercolors on rice paper, attracted the attention of both amateur art lovers and professional artists, who expressed their admiration and appreciation for Chan’s unusual artistic choices.
Aside from successfully selling two pieces of artworks during the exhibition, Chan’s aim is to boost popularity for her online store, which offers a variety of products with her signature print patterns tailor made according to customers’ requests. Popular products included cell phone cases, tote bags, handmade postcards and art prints, all in accessible art form within an affordable price range. Through the online shop, Chan aims to promote her art work to wider audience, proving that she does not belong to the artists who limit themselves to highbrow art, but rather strive to share her artistic vision across boundaries and reach out to varying types of target audience, incorporating art into daily life.
Aside from exhibition and merchandise, another area that Chan expanded in during the four-day exhibition included conducting a master art class, which consisted of a quick tutorial of orchid flora sketch at beginners’ level, in the manner of Youtube tutorials. Aware of the difficulties in encouraging beginners’ interest in art, Chan brought specific coloring designs with her, as well as offering free souvenirs of well-made sketchbooks featuring her signature floral patterns to participants. This move proved to a successful strategy, as the class was full and many students shared the experience on social media platform afterwards.
From Alice Chan’s multi-dimensional approach to selling art in Art Next, one could observe the importance of creative strategies in reaching out to audience in the age of internet and social media. Chan’s attempts to balance her artistic aspirations and commercial interests in Hong Kong suggest that while pursuing the path of an artist is never easy, the ones with true passion should not give up on it, for strait is the gate and narrow is the way.
About the Guest Blog Writer:
Helena Chung is a writer currently based in Hong Kong. She has written several interview profiles, film reviews and book fair articles published on online media. Helena is also working full time as a teacher specialized in IB English Literature.
新藝潮2019— Alice Chan：一個年輕畫家的畫像
身為其中一位入選今年展覽的新人畫家，Alice Chan的參展作品展示了她融合中西文化的獨特風格，以充滿實驗性的技巧和富有現代色彩的創意，表達她以藝術作為媒介築起和觀眾之間的溝通和聯繫。Alice Chan分別在香港和美國兩地接受教育，作品曾於多個國際和本地展覽展出，更獲得母校聖保羅男女中學的邀請於2018年在校內舉行個人展覽。香港英文虎報亦曾刊登關於她的專訪，並形容她是本地年輕藝術家的明日之星。Alice Chan的作品特色在於揉合了中國傳統水墨畫和西方油畫的技巧，而她喜愛的題材包括鮮花圖案、自然風景、靜物和抽象風水墨畫。
Check out Alice's art testimonials and thank you so much for your continual support.
— Ms. Carol Schmauder, Publicist, Treasurer, Membership Chairperson, Artist From Avenue West Gallery in Spokane, WA
— Mr. Aries Wu, Founder of Aries Art Studio in Hong Kong
— Ms. Ivy Leung, Art Teacher at St. Paul's Co-educational College in Hong Kong
"Alice’s works show strong uniqueness of her binary background from architecture and art, which can be exemplified from her choice of light and colour in her works."
Her artworks are a colourful confluence of cultures from the East and the West.
Her representational and abstract art reveals a fruitful journey of experimentation in media and content."
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- Group Exhibition: Chinese Ink Art Gallery Group Show Art Exhibition in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
- Group Exhibition of Artist Collaboration with Aries and Ken's Art Studios - 2017
- Group Exhibition at the Hong Kong Central Library in 2015
- White Box Friends Exhibition in Modern Gallery of Art in Serbia - 2018
- Solo Art Exhibition - Flower Power at SPCC - Nov, 2018- Feb, 2019
- 合奏四 | Symphony 4 Exhibition | White Box Studio | Hong Kong
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