Hong Kong Artist Carmen Ng On Her First Solo Exhibition "Flowers In The Window"
Carmen Ng didn't start off as an artist upon graduating from Hong Kong Baptist University in 2011 with a degree in visual arts. But once she set her sights on pursuing art after a brief stint in a local media company, Karin Weber Gallery saw something was special about and her work and immediately chose to represent her—which is a big win especially if you're a fledgeling artist.
With that, Ng's artistic practice evolved over the years which she will now showcase in her debut solo exhibition, Flowers In the Window at Karin Weber Gallery on February 24–March 31, 2021.
The contemporary watercolourist and ink painter has been honing her craft—winning the Distinguished Print Award at the 29th Hong Kong Print Awards in 2017 and her work being part of a collection of Hang Seng Bank, Procter & Gamble, a private education foundation in Hong Kong as well as in the private collection of William Lim.
Ahead of her upcoming exhibition, Ng speaks to Tatler about why she paints about imagination and dreams and how the pandemic inspired her exhibition's theme.
Imagination and dream have always been present in your work, why is this an important recurring theme?
I often dream. And those dreams linger throughout the day. A lot of the images that appear in my head before I fall asleep and right after I wake up are mixtures of scenes from my daily life and my dreams in life. I find them very interesting because they aren't always logical in reality. I'm more creative when I just get out of bed then when fully awake.
A number of your work have been awarded prestigious prizes, which one remains the most memorable?
The most memorable is my first award the Greater China Illustration Award in 2011 by The Hong Kong Society of Illustrators. I had just graduated from university at
that time and was a normal office worker at a local media company. I wanted to make painting my career but did not know if that was possible. I just happened to submit my existing work for the competition and didn't even have any expectations at all.
But after I won the award, I decided to make an effort to pursue painting as a career. This award had given me so much because it was an important stepping stone towards realizing my dream as an artist.
How does it feel for your work to be part of William Lim’s private collection?
I feel so fortunate that William likes my work. I'm also delighted to participate in the exhibition Matter that he curated in 2019. Two of my works, Outside Connection I & II, which he collected are amongst my favourite. They depict the appearance and structure of architecture in fine detail. He likes them maybe because they speak to him as an architect.
This exhibition is set to become your most remarkable one, what makes it different from the others?
The artworks included in my coming exhibition are significantly different in style as I haven't worked with a confined colour palette and lines before. The colour tone and mood are both the major difference from my previous works. I really enjoyed the creative process as I recreated the images in my head and just painted as my heart pleased. I still love the details. If one pays attention to each painting, one can still notice the small details.
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How has been the past year like for you in terms of creating art given the pandemic?
There hasn't been a huge impact on my creative life in the past year. Instead of my studio, I worked at home. Some of my projects had to be postponed and it has given me more time to prepare for my coming solo exhibition at Karin Weber Gallery. Because I spent so much time at home, I looked out of the window very often to relieve myself from the pressure of being confined in the same space and uncertainty of the future. That's also how the idea of the exhibition's theme came to me.
What do you hope viewers can take away from your exhibition?
The exhibition is going to consist of images depicting the view from the window. Over the past year, we've spent a lot of time at home. I looked out from the window very often as it was the only way I could get in contact with the world. It might be a nuisance to many people not being able to leave their homes but it's a bit different for me. I found joy in watching the street, the sky for the weather and the neighbour opposite my window. I hope visitors to this exhibition could also make their own discovery.
See also: Hong Kong Artist Movana Chen On Making Art During The Pandemic
Flowers In the Window is showing from February 24–March 31, 2021 at Karin Weber Gallery, 20 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong