First Prize winner Alex Chan with his artwork. Photo: David Wong
Alex Chan Ming-yeung, a former student of Tseung Kwan O Government Secondary School, won the First Prize with his artwork River Crab Society, an acrylic on canvas. It features both negative and positive aspects of Hong Kong. Images of poor farmers and migrant workers are set in contrast to smiling locals living the good life. The 18-year-old became interested in art in Primary Four. It took almost a year to complete the art piece, he said. Chan, who is studying advertising design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, received HK$5,000 in prize money.
Junior reporters Jackson Ng (left) and Keith Lee interview Public Vote Prize winner Hannah Tsang. Photo: Emily Shih
The Public Vote Prize went to Sunset & Sunrise, an oil painting with a beautiful sunset on one side and a stunning sunrise on the other. It was created by Hannah Tsang Hei-nam from TWGHs Wong Fung Ling College. Tsang's inspiration for the artwork came from a sunset she saw over the Yacht Club in Causeway Bay. It took her a year to finish her oil painting. Previously she used to do sketches and watercolours.
"After a few attempts, I was thrilled I could draw what I wanted," she said. She first started drawing in Form Three and has since been practising various drawing techniques.
Judge Howard Bilton (left) and John Hanafin, managing director of The Sovereign Group (Middle East), with winner Alex Chan. Photo: David Wong
Howard Bilton, founder and chairman of The Sovereign Art Foundation, said he was "surprised and delighted at the quality of the works", which compared favourably with those of established artists. "The winning entry, River Crab Society, received the highest total score and it's the winner for me, too," Bilton said. "It's detailed, skilful, and is an interesting take on a communist poster." It contains a "semi-political message" criticising governmental manipulation, making it more than just a picture.
"You cannot call yourself a civilised society without art," Bilton added. "We'd like to encourage the next generation of artists to get in the art scene."
Sophie Cheung with Rob Schlipper. Photo: David Wong
Rob Schlipper is CEO of Pacsafe, a company that makes anti-theft bags and a major sponsor of the event. Schlipper, who was one of the judges, felt that this year's entries were excellent when it came to execution and technical skill. When selecting the best piece, the judges wanted to understand the message and intent of each artist. Schlipper said that for him first impressions were often the most important. In other words, an art piece had to grab his attention and captivate him. His personal favourite is a photograph collage, in which each photo was taken to form the Chinese character for "love". It includes many aspects of Hong Kong, which were then meticulously put together in the collage.