KWOK WAI CHAU
Winner of D31 Art Gallery's, D31 Art Prize Exhibition, 2023 'Curator's Choice' Prize
Describe yourself in 4 sentences... " 1. I am a retired accountant, artist, and Tai Chi practitioner.
2. I am inspired by the natural world and the inner workings of the human spirit.
3. I enjoy painting in watercolor and experimenting with different techniques and styles.
4. I hope that my art can provide a moment of reflection and contemplation for the viewer. "
What inspires you to make art?
"I am inspired by the natural world, the inner workings of the human spirit, and the beauty of everyday life. I also find inspiration in my own experiences and emotions. When I paint, I feel relaxed and calm and enter a meditative state. I am able to forget the troubles of life and completely immerse myself in my own art world."
What inspired your 'A Poor Soul Living in A Cage House' artwork? "My artwork 'A Poor Soul Living in A Cage House' was inspired by the plight of the homeless in Hong Kong. I wanted to create a painting that would capture the isolation and despair that many homeless people feel. The figure is surrounded by wire mesh cage, which represent the barriers that homeless people face in society. The figure is also surrounded by darkness, which represents the hopelessness that many homeless people feel."
Do you think art always has to have a deeper meaning? "I don't think art always has to have a deeper meaning. Sometimes, art can simply be about beauty or expression. However, I do believe that art can be a powerful tool for communication and introspection. It can help us to understand ourselves and the world around us in new ways."
What are some of the challenges you face as an artist? How do you combat these?
"As an artist, I face a number of challenges, including:
Finding time to create art, especially when I have other commitments.
Dealing with the criticism of others.
Staying motivated when I am not feeling inspired.
Finding a way to present my art.
I combat these challenges by:
Setting aside specific time each day for my art practice.
Surrounding myself with supportive and encouraging people.
Taking breaks when I need them.
Experimenting with different techniques and styles.
Seeking out opportunities to exhibit and sell my work."
What is your favourite medium to work with? "My favourite medium to work with is watercolour. I love the unpredictable nature of watercolour and the challenge of capturing the essence of a subject in a few brushstrokes. Watercolour also allows me to create a sense of atmosphere and mood in my paintings."
Is there a particular artwork you've created which you are especially proud of? "The artwork I am most proud of is a painting called 'Serenity'. This painting depicts a small, quiet lane that is adjacent to a bustling ancient tourist town in China. The house represents the past. It is old and worn out, but it is still standing.
This suggests that the past is still relevant, even if it is not as vibrant and exciting as the present. The absence of people and noise adds to the tranquility of the painting. The viewer is invited to step into the lane and experience the tranquility of nature. The red lanterns in the windows of the houses add to the overall sense of tranquility and hopefulness. They represent the people who live in the lane and their desire for a peaceful and prosperous future."
How do you balance your creative work life with your personal life? " Balancing my creative work life with my personal life can be challenging, but it is important to me to find a way to do both. I try to set aside specific time each day for my art practice, even if it is just for a few minutes. I also try to be mindful of my mental and emotional health, and to take breaks when I need them. It is also important to me to have a strong support system of family and friends who understand my artistic journey."
What would you say to your younger self if you could?
"If I could say anything to my younger self, I would tell myself to follow my dreams and never give up on my art. I would also tell myself to start earlier, to be patient and to trust the process. Art takes time and practice, and it is important to be kind to yourself along the way."
Would you like to leave a legacy? If yes, what would your legacy be? "I would like to leave a legacy of hope and inspiration through my art. I hope that my paintings can touch the lives of others and help them to see the beauty in the world around them. I also hope that my art can inspire others to follow their dreams and to never give up on their passions."
Exhibit with D31 Art Gallery!