Letters from the dorm: Closer look at wonders of art

Letters from the dorm: Closer look at wonders of art


An eye-catching creation by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama
An eye-catching creation by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama
I believe in getting to learn the story behind each piece of art I like. That way I can also learn about myself - and I am keen to share my findings with others.

So I volunteered as a tour guide for the Art Basel exhibition held last month in Hong Kong.

It was an art show that had invited galleries from around the world to put up showpieces at a single venue so that collectors and buyers could browse at a one-stop shop.

The general public and art lovers were also welcome. And that's where I came in.

During the four-day event, my role was to show viewers around and share my insights on a few key pieces on display.

My personal favourites were works by the late Spanish artist Joan Miro, put on show here by the Mayoral Galeria d'Art from Barcelona. People enjoyed viewing his abstract artworks, composed of primary colours and black solid outlines. The impressionist painter reduced his subject matters into simple geometric shapes in intriguing styles that allow you to interpret them in your own way.

I faced a barrage of challenging questions by visitors about the artworks. I often couldn't give them the answer on the spot!

An installation piece called Tools by Yan Bing, a contemporary artist from a rural area on the mainland, was also a crowd favourite. He draws inspiration from his farming background, including common tools.

Yayoi Kusama, a flamboyant Japanese artist, also drew the crowds with her eye-catching creations in collaboration with luxury clothing brand Louis Vuitton. Her signature polka dot-style designs created an unreal atmosphere.

All her life the elderly artist has sought to break free of the conventions of traditional Japanese art. Her unique vision made me stop and think.

Let me tell you: being a tour guide is fun, but not easy. The key is to help visitors see an artwork from a whole new perspective - as if they were looking at it through your own eyes. What I hoped to achieve was to introduce newcomers to the wonders of art.


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