new year, new directions

With less paid writing [or possibly none] on the horizon at the moment, now is a great time to focus on my ceramic comission for G.O.D. and plan new applications/outlets for my work. There is the ongoing question of whether to leave Hong Kong for Beijing/Glasgow/London but this is mainly a hypothetical debate because life as usual intervenes and things continue in the direction set by daily routine. Horses are on my mind as next year is the year of the horse in the Chinese calendar and this is informing my work alongside the many traditional motifs used in China on ceramics and other objects of applied and fine art and everything else in the universe. These symbols have a narative as well as decorative value and usually signify good things, especially for the future. I seem to be focussing on animals at the moment and I’m greatful for the opportunity to explore Chinese aesthetics for [more or less, in any depth] the first time since coming here.

monoprints adapted from ancient Chinese ceramics
monoprints adapted from ancient Chinese ceramics
another horse print
another horse print
pony sign somewhere in Hong Kong probably near Hang Hau [I can't quite remember]
pony sign somewhere in Hong Kong probably near Hang Hau [I can’t quite remember]
and some fish obviously!
and some fish obviously!

hong kong christmas

Our small flat has been busy with teenagers since Lucien arrived back from London, its just like old times, I feel like we’re a family again!

Lucien, Josh, Jiwoon and Victor, home for the holidays
Lucien, Josh, Jiwoon and Victor, home for the holidays
xmas eve outside Hang Hau MTR [view from our balcony] - the city is full of carol singing groups battling for supremacy, the one with the brass band seems likely to win
xmas eve outside Hang Hau MTR [view from our balcony] – the city is full of carol singing groups battling for supremacy, the one with the brass band seems likely to win
festive flowers from Wan Chai market stall
festive flowers from Wan Chai market stall
xmas jumpers
xmas jumpers
santa spotted in Hang Hau mall, not at all out of place amongst the monchichi guys
santa spotted in Hang Hau mall, not at all out of place amongst the monchichi guys
courtesy of Nigella spiced chocolate cake with addition of gold candles, small balls and Liz's handmade ribbon
courtesy of Nigella spiced chocolate cake with addition of gold candles, small balls and Liz’s handmade ribbon
dinner table with lit candles, cosy but colourful
dinner table with lit candles, cosy but colourful
Christopher Wallace dressed for the occasion
Christopher Wallace dressed for the occasion
Sunny 30 December walk... "well you're never far from one million people"
Sunny 30 December walk… “well you’re never far from one million people”

my beautiful son

Lucien finally made it back to Hong Kong after missing his original flight. Tired and fed up after 12-14 hours on the plane but soon fixing up plans with friends and off to Kowloon Tong.

Liz also back from Canada and seems like the whole crew are back in town, off to the black wall and Lan Kwai Fong like old times [obviously I only hear the edited version].

on phone - making plans to meet up with old pals
on phone – making plans to meet up with old pals
Lucien with christmas and birthday present, way to produce a him smile
Lucien with christmas and birthday present, way to produce a smile
Liz, Lucien and tree...how cosy!
Liz, Lucien and tree…how cosy!

MTR

Last Thursday the critique group at JCCAC did a life drawing session with an enthusiastic volunteer, William, as the model. Jovial had to draw with her left hand for the whole session due to her right hand still being in a splint, she rose to the challenge, she really seems to live up to her name.

The new exhibition at Edge gallery includes Picasso ceramics, how exciting for me to watch them being unpacked and placed on the table in front of me!

Hong Kong park has some truly remarkable flower displays in the pond purporting to refer to the theme of romance but in reality actually rotting, they took away the really dead flowers but weirdly put the empty oasis back in situ.

Weather has taken a down turn – cold and wet – and a pleasant walk to look at the harbour, not dissimilar to being in Scotland.

Finally the MTR drama…I was on the train next to the one that stopped in the tunnel. We all sat for around 10 minutes before being told that due to a power failure the line was now closed. This quickly developed into an announcement stating that this was an emergency due to a serious incident and we should leave the station immediately. Luckily, I could walk home from there [after buying an umbrella as it was pouring] but apparently the disruption went on for five whole hours…can you imagine…it was almost like being in London!

life drawing session in the studio, a difficult pose for William but he did choose it
life drawing session in the studio, a difficult pose for William but he did choose it
unwrapping Picasso ceramics ready to exhibit
unwrapping Picasso ceramics ready to exhibit
we all would like to keep this one
we all would like to keep this one
sad, dilapidated ducks
sad, dilapidated ducks
wet harbour view, a bit like Scotland but warmer
wet harbour view, a bit like Scotland but warmer
leaving the MTR station due to power failure
leaving the MTR station due to power failure

 

christmas tree

you've seen the big tree, had your photo taken in front of it, now go and shop, shop shop, shop, shop, shop...
you’ve seen the big tree, had your photo taken in front of it, now go and shop, shop shop, shop, shop, shop…

Purely for brainwashing purposes like the whole mall which is probably my least favourite place in HK but I’m slowly getting used to it, mainly as it is the only place I know near the studio that sells coffee first thing in the morning as Cafe Golden doesn’t open until eleven.

https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/529c735ee4b0999a297a93d1

something christmassy

Christmas comes early in Hong Kong if you want a real tree, however environmentally unfriendly that desire might be, as they quickly sell out despite the fact they cost two or three times more than in the UK. Anyway this year I have gone for it and decided that slightly retro kitsch is the look for Christmas in Hang Hau.

maybe a little overdressed but beautifully fragrant
maybe a little overdressed but beautifully fragrant

My picture of the gigantic [fake] tree in Festival Walk is on the Guardian blog and also helps to capture the shopping imperative in this city.

Last Saturday at animal artist Sascha’s studio I sold the rest of the mugs and some tiles and tealight holders that were left over from Jockey Club Creative Arts CentreC [JCCAC] fair the previous weekend so I’m surprised my trolley is still so heavy! Anyway back to the studio tomorrow and down to work for the next job.

table looking a little bare but that's good as it means work has sold
table looking a little bare but that’s good as it means work has sold
tiles and tealights combo
tiles and tealights combo
Douglas Young, CEO of GOD and my friend, the "fish guy" demonstrating how to "use" my work
Douglas Young, CEO of GOD and my friend, the “fish guy” demonstrating how to “use” my work
JCCAC fifth anniversary celebrated with friends [old and new] and [surprisingly] wine and [unsurprisingly] garish cupcakes. A tinsel canon also featured!
JCCAC fifth anniversary celebrated with friends [old and new] and [surprisingly] wine and [unsurprisingly] garish cupcakes. A tinsel canon also featured!
my "five vessels" installation with the sixth vessel to inspire work for the next five years...
my “five vessels” installation with the sixth vessel to inspire work for the next five years…

JCCAC fifth anniversary exhibition also opened on Friday and looks pretty good with some interesting work, my favourite is the Zen mopping circles. My work looks a bit small in the large space but gives me some ideas for new developents.