The Hong Kong Arts Collective x Zung Fu present “Driven” featuring 17 Hong Kong artists

How many local Hong Kong artists do you know? This weekend, why not discover not just one but 17 local artists at “Driven,” an exhibition put on by the Hong Kong Arts Collective (HKARTS) and Zung Fu at the Mercedes-Benz Brand Centre in Chai Wan?

During the pandemic, the local artists have had more time to unleash their creativity, which you’ll see firsthand at “Driven.” Here are some of the highlighted artists:

Pete Ross

Co-founder of HKARTS, Hong Kong-born Pete Ross is now a RIBA architect in Hong Kong with profound interest in socio-urban interactions. Ross’s artwork mainly related with his personal thoughts and observations on Hong Kong – where he was born and raised.

“For a long time, I’ve tried to tackle my feeling of place in Hong Kong,” says Ross, who often gets asked where he’s “really from” even though he was born here. “As a British/non-ethnic Chinese permanent resident, I often find myself struggling with whether I should even call myself local. So, while I accept Hong Kong as my home, I feel Hong Kong has never truly accepted me. It leaves you with this sense of not really fitting in and constantly soul searching. It’s this feeling that’s inspired my interest in both place theory and my artwork.”

His artwork refers to the ever-changing urban landscape and culture in Hong Kong, with his style of using traditional, detailed drawing techniques in contrast to urban stencil work. “I think landscape and our surroundings are always influencing us, whether we want it to or not,” says Ross. “In a more literal sense, I like the way landscapes can inform us and trigger recollection, which in turn informs our memory and from there, inspires our imagination.”

Marc Allante

A co-founder of HKARTS, Hong Kong-born Marc Allante has been enthusiastic in visual arts from an early age and tends to feature wildlife in his artwork. “I have always been fascinated with wildlife,” he says. “Growing up in Hong Kong, it can be very easy to feel enclosed in a “concrete jungle” and art was always a way for me to explore new ideas and imagine the world outside of the city. I think there is an incredible beauty in all animals – in the way they move and interact with the environment – and as humans we so often associate so many of our characteristics and noble traits in animals in our culture and folklore.”

Having lived in Sydney and London out of Hong Kong, Allante’s artwork is inspired in both form and style by Western and Eastern cultures. He is also creating NTF art, saying, “I think there are very important technological advancements being made in the crypto and NFT space. It is a chance for artists in fields that are sometimes under-represented in the fine art sector such as digital and CGI industries to find new avenues to present their work.”

Kyra Campbell

Co-founder of HKARTS, Kyra Campbell is a British-born photographer who came to Hong Kong after finishing her undergraduate degree in London. She shoots on 35mm film mostly and loves film photography, especially photographing the daily lives of people.

On what makes a good photo, she says, “Knowing how to work your camera correctly and getting the settings right is a must, but at the same time, a photographer may choose to use the ‘wrong’ settings on purpose to achieve certain effects (e.g. under or overexposing, keeping things out of focus and/or playing with colour balance). Photographs are memories, moments in time and there’s no real way to get that wrong.”

Rainbow Tse

Born in Hong Kong, Rainbow is a local artist specialising in watercolour. “I would describe my artwork as instruments,” she says. “I often say that the cityscapes I paint hold stories and memories, but these are not my stories per se. Rather, I hope for the viewer to interact with the cityscape and relate memories and stories of their own through it. Since I paint a lot of streets from Hong Kong and it may particularly resonate with those who grew up here or have lived in this city.”

Her artwork includes a lot of painting that refers to local cityscapes and landscapes, as she believes that many places and feelings are noteworthy. Tse is also an illustrator who is keen to share her painting process and skills online. “I have always been interested in playing around with light and colour,” she says. “It has been my starting point for creating across the different mediums I use (whether in my watercolours, digital paintings, or photography).”

“In regards to watercolor cityscapes and nightscapes, I found it to be an interesting combination. Watercolour is often very soft and light, but pairing it with the high contrast, bold aesthetic of a nightscene transforms it into something entirely different.”

Ernest Chang

Born in Florida, Ernest Chang is a Chinese-American artist who is known for merging traditional Chinese culture into his modern western-style illustrations. “As a millennial artist, I’ve witnessed a shift of global economic dominance over my lifetime towards China,” he says.

“The well-known characters from animated sitcoms and video game represent us millennials as a generation, while the luxury goods they adorn represent the consumerist market of luxury goods. As our global landscape continues to shift along geo-political lines, I’ve been drawn to images and techniques from vastly different cultural lineages to make sense of the current world state; and these works have allowed me to inject my vision of harmony into them as tensions continue to rise between China and the US.”

Chang is also the founder of The Stallery: a portmanteau of ‘studio’ and ‘gallery’. “I’ve wanted my own studio and gallery ever since I was 10 years old,” he shares. “Practically, it allows me enough space to make artworks, which, in Hong Kong, is really a luxury as an artist. It also allows me to work with local and international artists that I respect and admire by having a space to showcase their works. But most importantly, I just really love meeting and showcasing the amazing talents of Hong Kong artists that deserve public recognition!”

“Driven” is on from 28-30 May 2021 at the Mercedes-Benz Brand Centre at 60 Ka Yip Street, Chai Wan; open daily from 9am to 8pm

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