Why do you like glass?
Glass gives me very strong visual impact. It can be bright, transparent and solid. With such varying effects, the techniques involved are countless and its level of difficulty is high. There are a lot of calculations in the progress of making it and it is very exciting. The outcome is beautiful yet the result can be unpredictable. Glass always surprises me and the satisfaction it gives me is great.
Why can glass have so many variations?
The raw material of glass is sand and its main source is silicon. Once you add different chemicals, glass will have different hardness, colour and transparency. It is very changeable.
What was your inspiration behind the series of work called “The Victim?”
There was a piece of news about the illegal trade of ivory that made me aware of how merchants can be very cruel to get them. There are a lot of such cases. Ultimately, I have been thinking about why human beings are so selfish. I had a strong impulse to do something for animals. I don’t have big dream for my creation, yet I would like to express the anger inside of me about these situations. I feel angry for the animals and wonder: as a part of the human race whether there is something I can do to arouse the attention of animal preservation and alleviate the pain they have been suffering from.
Why do you merge glass into your creations?
Animals can survive and live freely using their own abilities to do so. They can live on their own and reproduce in nature. The whole ecosystem with the food chain is out of balance once humans hunt them down with weapons. I think glass is highly related to animals – they are strong, but also weak. So I combine my understanding of animals and glass to strengthen my thought in my works.
What techniques do you use to make glass art?
Pyrotechnics is different from other techniques, which is more exciting then kilning. Since fire is used on glass directly, it requires more immediate reaction and better planning.
I use a flame gun that is intended for glass pyrotechnics, which is fuelled by gas and oxygen. The fire is even stronger and the temperature can reach up to a thousand degrees. It allows glass to melt to liquid and be made into the shape desired. It will solidify once cooled down.
Since there is temperature restriction, you cannot change the temperature in the process. Every single step requires attention to detail.
Glass pyrotechnics and glass blowing is pretty similar. The former one could be interpreted as a smaller scale of the latter one. Since glass pyrotechnics is very small, it allows for more detailing and variations.
How are your creations and daily life related?
The theme of my creation is related to my daily life. My early works expressed my feelings and surroundings, like hating being stung by mosquitos or when my wrist was hurt. Recently I have been working from news that I saw and expressing my thoughts about it. I think life and art cannot be separated. Whenever I can’t think of anything, I will leave my daily routine and look for some impact.
How did you develop into a creator?
I never really got good results for drawing when I was in secondary school. The first time I got a merit was from ceramics work. Then I realised that I liked crafting and I do enjoy making small gifts for my friends. I like to use my hands to make something 3D. I went to work for vintage reparation after graduating from my design degree, but then I realised that I didn’t know much about art. Therefore I went to study visual art in Hong Kong Baptist University. Although I had been to a glass factory to sightsee, the first time I actually got in touch with glass art was in university. I discovered my interest and since then I have not stopped.
“I tried a lot of mediums such as ceramics, wood and even printing, yet my favourite is always glass. I feel a nameless excitement whenever I work on glass”