Budding artists taste success

Budding artists taste success

Comic enthusiasts used snacks in their debut exhibition

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Yoyo Leung, Winnie Ho, Rourke Tang and Mayme Yau with artworks from their London Olympics-themed exhibition.
Yoyo Leung, Winnie Ho, Rourke Tang and Mayme Yau with artworks from their London Olympics-themed exhibition.
Photos: SCMP
Few local comic artists would claim to have great career prospects. Comics always have been considered a subculture in Hong Kong, with talented devotees rarely getting the chance to publish their work. Also, parents often tell their children to stop reading comics and spend more time on educational books.

Yet four die-hard enthusiasts - Mayme Yau, Winnie Ho, Yoyo Leung and Rourke Tang - have dreams of being comic book artists.

They often attend the "Dream House" comic art workshops run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong, and have got their first taste of what it is like for artists to show their work in public.

The four friends are staging the Olympic-themed "Grasp the Moment! London Sport Gala 2012" exhibition at a Tseung Kwan O shopping mall, and have added a real Hong Kong flavour by using popular local snacks in their work.

"We added many Hong Kong elements to the city scene showing London and the summer Olympics," says Leung, who plans to work as a comic artist after completing her Higher Diploma in Animation, Comics and Visual Effects at the Hong Kong Design Institute. "We made passenger compartments on the London Eye Ferris wheel using lots of breads sold in local bakeries. The top of the iconic, red London bus is decorated with a classic Hong Kong snack - a pineapple bun with butter. And the traffic lights are made into another local favourite snack - fried minced fish with red, green and yellow peppers."


A red London bus, topped with a buttered pineapple bun with the London Eye Ferris Wheel in the background

The artists, who have all left school, became friends while taking the Dream House classes taught by professional comicbook artists.

They spent nearly a month of their free time producing pieces for the exhibition. "It was exhausting as I have a day-time job," says Yau. "At times, we had to work overnight to meet the deadline, but it was worth it: drawing is my passion."

Tang says staging the exhibition has been a valuable learning experience because it has given him an insight into how comic art is produced in a business setting. "For the exhibition, I've not drawn what I want to draw," he says. "My ideas have had to be approved by the organisers [at the mall] first. Luckily, they've been very open-minded and provided many constructive suggestions for us."

The artists hope the government will do more in future to promote work produced by local artists. "Right now the exposure we've had has been limited," Tang says. "Before, we've been drawing on bags which are sold at flea markets, so I really appreciate this chance to put on our own exhibition, to let more people see our work.

"Yet it would be great if the government helped to organise more exhibitions like this one to help local artists gain greater recognition."

The Grasp the Moment! London Sport Gala 2012 exhibition continues at Park Central, in Tseung Kwan O, until August 19

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