Filipinos Shining Bright In: 'Arts in Hong Kong With Southeast Asian Artists' - Arts & Culture

The Hong Kong Tourism Board gathers 18 artists celebrating the country through art including four Filipinos

Hong Kong Tourism Board assembled artists from across Southeast Asia to create art work that celebrates Hong Kong through “Arts in HK with S.E.A. artists.” The project is actually a continuation of “Arts in Hong Kong” which is a year-long endeavor that raises awareness about Hong Kong’s diversity of arts and culture.

“Arts in HK with S.E.A. artists” features artistic work from talented artists hailing from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The website further states that “the collection of artwork spans across a spectrum of genres from painting to digital illustration, pottery, embroidery, sand art and more.”

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Here are the four featured Filipino artists’ art pieces:

Celine Tablinga (Pottery Artist)

In an Instagram post, Celine Tablinga shares, “I had the opportunity to attend the “Arts in Hong Kong” virtual tour recently where we visited impressive art venues such as the new M+ museum and Hong Kong Palace Museum in West Kowloon!

At the virtual tour, they featured one of the few remaining artists who make traditional hand-carved mahjong sets. This was personally very interesting to me because growing up my grandmother who taught us how to play mahjong would invite us over to play in our garden almost every weekend. I can still vividly recall the satisfying sound the tiles make when they’re being jumbled together after a game ends.

I was inspired to create an art piece inspired by Hong Kong’s most iconic culture and traditions and decided to create a vase, incorporating the mahjong tile “發” which means prosperity and gold fishes to represent my fascination with Hong Kong’s iconic goldfish market which I’m looking forward to seeing in person. Not only that, but also get to see first hand the legendary Biu Jee Mah-Jong shop! 

There is so much that I want to see and discover in Hong Kong! Can’t wait to visit soon!”

Ciara Gan (Painter)

“Who says art pieces belong in galleries? Sometimes, they belong in 144 tiles tucked away in a leather box,” says Ciara Gan in her Instagram account.

She adds, “The game of ‘mahjong’ ties into Chinese culture. After attending the Arts in Hong Kong virtual event, I was fascinated by Biu Kee Mahjong and Mr. Cheung’s hand-carved tiles. The art of hand carving mahjong tiles is so unique, it’s even listed as one of Hong Kong’s Intangible Cultural Heritages by the local government.” 

Gan elaborates, “I wanted to create a piece that represents both memories and how mahjong brings people and families together. The old photograph comes from an old mahjong advertisement. I also added a few elements like the junk boat and Hong Kong skyline, as well as Chinese characters that translate to Hong Kong being ‘The Pearl of the Orient.’ I can’t wait to visit Hong Kong and explore all the art and culture the city has to offer!

Krissie Mateo (Paper Artist)

Krissie Mateo writes in her Instagram post: “I was invited to attend the Arts in Hong Kong virtual tour recently and took on the challenge of creating art inspired by some of the featured sites.

One of the sites that piqued my interest the most was Sindart, a traditional handmade Chinese embroidered footwear store. I liked how Miru Wong (the third-generation store owner) kept her family’s tradition of silk embroidery alive while incorporating modern designs into her work. This marrying of old and new became the main inspiration for this paper art piece.

The left slipper represents the Hong Kong that we are all familiar with, featuring some cultural elements and landmarks such as the Big Buddha, junk boat, Wong Tai Sin Temple, against the mountainous landscape of Hong Kong. The right slipper represents Hong Kong’s present, specifically highlighting the West Kowloon Cultural District. Featured are some of the new places to visit in the area which include the M+ museum, Hong Kong Palace Museum, Xiqu Center, and the Art Park. “

Mela Gonzales (Embroidery Artist)

Mela Gonzales shares through Instagram, “I was recently invited to the Arts in Hong Kong virtual tour and asked to design a bodice inspired by Hong Kong, so I made one that features an embroidered outline of their iconic skyline!”

When I was in grade school, my brother and I would always ask our parents if we were going to Hong Kong again for the summer. It was the first place outside of the Philippines that we’ve ever been to, so we were always pestering our parents to take us back when they can cause we loved it so much there (especially the food and of course… HK Disneyland HAHAHA).

It’s been a long long time since we’ve last been back, but I can’t wait to visit again when the times are better. Would love to see that skyline in person .

PS also wanted to mention that the embroidery and design was inspired by Sindart’s traditional embroidered Hong Kong slippers! I loved the way Miru Wong, the third generation owner and artisan behind Sindart, would create, and modernise the design of her slippers using colour and graphics, which was something I was hoping to achieve with this bodice!

Banner photo from Hong Kong Tourism Board website featuring “Emily & Fufuland in West Kowloon” by Thai digital artist, Seatapron Korwanichakul Painterbell and an illustration of iconic Hong Kong landmarks, food, and culture by Malaysian illustrator Chong Fei Giap.

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