Four Filipino artists featured in Hongkong arts campaign

Out of 18 diverse artists from Southeast Asia that the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) brought to create art pieces inspired by perennial icons, four are from the Philippines.

This initiative, “Arts in HK with S.E.A artists,” is an extension of the year-long “Arts in Hong Kong” that generates awareness of the city’s always-on, diverse experience of arts and culture and establish Hong Kong as a center for international arts and cultural exchange.

“Arts in HK with S.E.A artists” campaign features talents from the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. The collection of artwork spans a spectrum of genres, from painting to digital illustration, pottery, embroidery, sand art and more.

Mela Gonzales’ Hong Kong Skyline Bodice.

“As an international arts and culture hub, Hong Kong is excited to engage, nurture and develop the next generation of local artists across the region, while giving them a platform to showcase their talents to the world. By amplifying the potential of artists through this initiative, we hope to positively shape and empower artists within the local arts community in the region,” said Raymond Chan, regional director of Southeast Asia at Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Art holds clues to life in the past and present. By looking at a work of art’s symbolism, we can learn, rewind time and experience a culture that is different to present. The creations by the 18 Southeast Asian artists explore different facets of old and new Hong Kong. Some celebrate traditional crafts such as mahjong carving and slipper embroidery while others look towards the future with the modern M+ museum and the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Old and New Hong Kong by Filipino artist, Krissie Matteo.
Photographs courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board

One of the artists invited to be part of this project is Ciara Gan, a painter and content creator from the Philippines. She is best known for designing and hand-painting her high school prom dress. The video of her making the dress went viral, garnering over 8.5 million views online.

“The inspiration for my painting came from the game of mahjong as it has deep ties to Hong Kong’s culture. After attending the Arts in Hong Kong virtual event organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, I was fascinated by Biu Kee Mahjong and Mr. Cheung’s hand-carved tiles. The art of handcarving mahjong tiles is so unique, I wanted to create a piece that represents both the memories that come with playing and how mahjong brings families and even strangers together,” Gan said.

Mahjong and Goldfish Market-inspired vase by Celine Tabinga.

“Collaborating with Hong Kong Tourism Board is an exciting opportunity for me because I love Hong Kong culture and Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities in the world. Furthermore, to be selected for this campaign is truly a humbling experience as it validates all the hard work that I have put in to perfect my craft,” Kent, an illustrator from Malaysia said.

Mela Gonzales, a crochet and embroidery artist from the Philippines said, “It’s been a long time since I was in Hong Kong, but I can’t wait to visit again. It is heartwarming to see so many Southeast Asian artists coming together, bringing expertise from different artistic expressions to celebrate Hong Kong. I hope one day we can all gather in Hong Kong to see its iconic skyline in person once again.”

The complete collection of Hong Kong-inspired art from the 18 Southeast Asian artists will be available to view online.

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