Ken Tsoi – a talented aspiring artist shares with us his journey so far, his hopes and opinions of the art world. With a product design background, Ken’s work has an illustrator’s touch to it, while maintaining to use traditional methods of water color, ink and markers. His first solo exhibition Stubborn Happish is currently being showcased at the Pub-Art Gallery (Chancery Lane, Hong Kong).
CaR will also be featuring his works in our Visual Arts section. For now, here is your chance to get to know Ken better.
What were your childhood dreams and ambition?
I like reading comics. So I wanted to be a cartoonist when I was a child.
I’m a fan of Dragon Ball and I wanted to create a comic which is like this. I created my first comic which is based on the characters from Dragon Ball, but re-wrote the story. Unfortunately, I lost that comic… and I also gave up my dream to be a cartoonist when I grew up. It is because a cartoonist has to put much effort and give up his leisure time, that I couldn’t bear such a lifestyle.
What are the most important things in your life?
I think the most important thing is to keep my mind young. An innocent heart is the motivation for doing anything in my life. It lets me have a clearer mind and makes me curious to see the world. The simple phrase “Be foolish!” reminds me that a happy childhood is the seed of an adult’s happiness. So I’m trying to preserve the feelings I had in my childhood.
What are your long term plans?
I want to create my own world with my paintings, and let it connect with individuals from different parts of the world. I believe that art is a kind of common language which can be used to communicate with different parties. However, time management is my main concern. It is because I’m not a full time artist that I have to manage time well to do my paintings. For sure I would like to be a full time artist, but, it is not easy to do so in Hong Kong.
My first painting in this series is Non-boundary Happiness. There is no particular reason why I drew it first. Just that I like the square-shaped fish very much, and I like the message of this painting. The message is about seeking happiness in our own way. In fact, there is no model answer for how to be happy, but I believe that you can make it happen by staying true to yourself and trying to enjoy it even though the methods you use may not be easily accepted by the public.
Where would you like to see your work displayed at?
I would like to see my works displayed at public areas, such as plazas, the city hall, traffic stations…something like that. I think that, art should be more popular and easier to reach. Also, I think that there are not many people who will visit the gallery to see my paintings. I want to display my paintings somewhere that people can easily see.
What would your next series be about?
I want to draw something about the environment, possibly describing the relationship between human and ecology, animals or the universe. I am not sure yet. But there is one thing I am pretty sure of is that I would like to do something which can open up people’s mind and lead them to feel the world, without being egoistic.
How do you see yourself in Hong Kong’s art world?
Actually, I don’t see myself as an artist. It is because many people in Hong Kong may regard artists as a group of people who are difficult to reach. Also, some people may think that art is difficult to understand. Instead, I’m just a story teller who wants to share the story with the society. That’s what I want to do in Hong Kong.
What would you like to see more in the world of art?
I hope that art can be found not only in the galleries but also everywhere in the city. For example, the paintings can be seen on the billboards while you are waiting for the bus at the bus stop. Somehow, some people will associate art with luxury. However, I don’t think art is a tool to build up the image of “rich” and “taste”. It should be more common and friendly. It is interesting that we can appreciate the public works of art that surround us simply by walking around in the city.
To budding artists: I am new in the art world as well. First of all, I think that art is a way to tell the world what you want and express yourself. It is greedy and evil if your purpose of creating art is to earn reputation and to draw public attention. If you create art based on those greedy purposes, you are never able to create good art pieces. You will easily get lost and you will lose your faith, mind and passion. Also, besides polishing our techniques, persistence is one of the key characteristics required when creating art. It is because we may face loads of problems and difficulties.
To art lovers: To art lovers, I just have one thing to share – you shouldn’t be so serious of our art pieces and care about whether you understand them or not. I believe that different individuals may have different feelings toward the art pieces. They may make you feel happy, sad or overwhelmed with dizziness. Just follow your heart and try to feel it. But please be serious to our attitude and do respect the art pieces and the artists.
All images from www.pubart-gallery.com.
Thank you Ken, and Pubart for this interview.
Visit Ken Tsoi’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Letterless . Meet the artist in person on 02 March, 2013 at the Pub-Art Gallery. Visit Pub-Art’s web page for details of the event.
Ground Floor, 7B Chancery Lane,
Central, Hong Kong
Tel/Fax: (852) 2840 1809