To paint memories and emotions – Wong Wing Fung

What is your creation about?

The Cabinets of Memories Series (系列)  ﹣ No.2&3 Hong Kong-­ Chernobyl-­ Fukushima’s Story Exchange Project 2012‐2015 (三)香港-切爾諾貝爾 -福島 交換故事計劃

The Cabinets of Memories Series (<記憶的藏寶格>系列)  ﹣ No.2&3 Hong Kong-­ Chernobyl-­ Fukushima’s Story Exchange Project 2012‐2015 (三)香港-切爾諾貝爾 -福島 交換故事計劃

My creation focuses on relationships. Some of them are community-based. The relationship between my work and the space, audience or between me and the audience, things happened, people or places take important roles in my works. My recent work The Cabinets of Memories explored the relation of memories and their storage.


What do you usually use as your medium?

It varies every time. I studied theatrical scenic painting under Applied Art. It can be understood that painting is my foundation but is affected quite largely by theatre settings. I care a lot about how the audience experiences my work, so medium matters a lot because it has different functions to present related relationships. Some installations works are site specific therefore the change of the location will lead to the change of the work.


Where do you get your inspiration?

Wong WIng Fung - In Praise of LIGHT: Homage to TAOHO

Wong WIng Fung – In Praise of LIGHT: Homage to TAOHO

There is nothing specific – it probably is from different things happening around me. It could be a small thing in life such as a glass of cold water given by a stranger in summer or the dance of leaves in the wind; it could also be as big as a nuclear disaster.


Why did you say In Praise of LIGHT: Homage to TAOHO is a turning point of your creativity path?

It combines space, natural light and observation of audience in the work, therefore the effect is difficult to predict. It is challenging to me as I could only go with the effect and make changes. Other than that, I have prepared some little booklets and a mailbox at the location to invite the audience to read and leave messages. Out of my expectation, I received over a hundred messages and most of them had solid content. Some people shared their thoughts after seeing the work. It made me realise that even though I was not at the site, my work could be a channel to communicate with an audience. This experience affected me when I created The Cabinets of Memories. I gave chances to the audience to leave messages and interact. The concept of story exchange also appears.


It is easy to acquire information about different people and things on the Internet, but it is emotionless. I like to spend time with people to know more about them or some things related to them.


Please share an impressive creative experience.

The Cabinets of Memories Series (系列)  ﹣ No.4 Grandma Grandpa Memory Boxes (四)「老爹媽回憶匣」

The Cabinets of Memories Series (<記憶的藏寶格>系列)  ﹣ No.4 Grandma Grandpa Memory Boxes (四)「老爹媽回憶匣」

Actually my experience is always impressive when I create. There was a while when I worked on The Cabinets of Memories, where I had been spending a lot of time on the elderly and listening to their stories. It made me understand them, the society and Hong Kong better. These elderly people had fading memories and they did not necessarily remember me every time, but my feelings to them had increased. Each of them carried a lot of history and stories and they bring everything away when they leave the world. It is sad that our sense of conservation is weak and does not pay much attention to conserve them. Working on a project related to the elderly is my attempt to conserve heritage – I found that particularly meaningful.


Why are you particularly interested in the sense of touch?

The school I studied in is a performing art school. Although my major isn’t performing that requires a lot of body or touching, I am very interested in the sense of touch. People usually ask “does it look nice” and then “does it sound good” but rarely ask “does it feel nice to the touch?” That makes me curious and actually sense of touch can be a very strong communication channel that deserves more attention.


How did you start your art life?

Wong Wing Fung - The Fish I tasted at home (家嘗魚)

Wong Wing Fung – The Fish I tasted at home (家嘗魚)

Starting a creative life isn’t difficult, but continuing it is the main point. When I was young, I thought about being the fashion designer of a DJ, which might have shown a bit of my creative side. I now have a series of work related to sound. I suppose I could be called a DJ? I was pretty bad at examinations and memorising and I started studying in performing art school after high school – that should be the start of my creativity life.


How does art affect your life?

Creation requires observation of things and feelings given to the environment. Observation is training to me and makes me focus on society and people more. Starting from observation, I have been looking for answers. It does not mean that I can find it or when I found it there could be changes. Art is the process of looking for answers. The process of creating art is imagining, seeking, expressing, sharing, owning and disowning. Art taught me to face myself, others and then the world. 


Contributed by 
Alter Modernist

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