Joey Leung Cho-yi is a young man who creates art with ceramics as his medium. Fish is his totem that always appears in his works. Everything started from a little story, which was about a “fish dish” that all households would have, he said.
Getting in touch with art
“Seeing quite a lot of magazines and newspapers printing photos with articles, I thought the prospect of a photographer would be great. Then I started to learn photography and photojournalism.” Questioning whether photography was only for recording a moment or if it entailed deeper meaning, he decided to study an art photography diploma to further explore the medium.
While Joey was continuously learning, he chose to study ceramics as his bachelor degree, which had no relation to photography at all. It was his father’s ceramics-making habit that nurtured Joey’s interest with his ambition to extend his creativity to other mediums. He started his art journey with both ceramics and photography.
Photography versus ceramics
Joey said, “Photography and ceramics are at two extremes and they have big differences. When I was trained to be a photojournalist, I always reminded myself that I could not miss anything, take wrong photos and I needed to handle the content within the shortest time. For ceramics, I can’t be rushed and I need to go along with its rhythm which allows for mistakes too.”
From photography to ceramics, the differences of skills and methods changed Joey’s mindset. As ceramics is a time-consuming art, he is allowed to think more about flexibility and the possibility of his works.
Oriental designs, colours and elements
“I think it is our foundation,” said Joey, “when most of the art education is led by Western art, we are just imitating the creative format of other countries yet our living environment and conditions are different. Even if we are creating under the same topic, Westerners will do it better than us. Oppositely, if we use Chinese elements in our work, it is easier to resonate with our audience.
“Although we grew up under Western education, Confucianism still exists in our family, which was in our verbal habits and the process of growing up. Being traditional is still our foundation.
Difficulties and rewards
“Throwing (a process of making ceramics) is an endless process. It has to be redone after broken and every throwing is a test – it leads to the loop of throwing and experimenting. When making ceramics, one has to be used to failing.
A lot of forms of creativity test one’s persistence – making ceramics is one of them. It involves hard work of non-stop trials until the shaping and colouring are right.
“Daily life is boring and creating sometimes isn’t as fun as expected, but the satisfaction after finishing a piece of work is indescribable,” said Joey.