Hong Kong’s vibrant art scene never seems to be lacking inspiring artists. This month, Opera Gallery opens its door to a spectacular group exhibition entitled Asia Abstract Show which is an ode to the history and heritage of Asian art. The Hong Kong exhibition hopes to be an art conversation starter that intertwines the past, present and modern designs, together with Eastern and Western influences. Macau Lifestyle was honored to meet one of the award-winning abstract artists, Om Mee-Ai and we delved deep into her creative mind and composition of art.
Known for her meticulous craft and precision in executing geometric abstract paintings, Mee-Ai refers to her artwork in a way which only she herself can understand. In a liberal view, she also allows art enthusiasts to freely express their subjective opinion on her artwork and not be affected by it. Read to find out more of her unique philosophy and approach to art and life.
Tell us about your work in this exhibition. What was the inspiration behind it?
Some of my works can be very metallic in color, and there is one special piece of artwork in the catalog which is featured here. It changes and transforms under different lights and which has a multitude of layers. The series of works I do in one piece can be between 20-30 layers. That is my work style.
I think that there is a small difference when I was working in Hong Kong. I used to do the perfect square, but now, I seem to be doing rectangles and vertical lines and have implemented some changes. Maybe I am influenced by living in Hong Kong. Abstract work doesn’t have a reference usually but there is a definitely a sense of influence on what goes in it.
I am originally from Korea and have been in Hong Kong for six years. I lived in Singapore for 16 years and when my husband took a job here, we moved. I converted one of our bedrooms into my studio. I could always see the view of the city, the weather changes, and all the different buildings. Maybe these daily reflections have influenced me with different shapes and other aspects of my artwork but I try not to think too much on it and let viewers reflect on their own.
How did you become an artist?
I’ve always had the inclination for art at a very young age. I was 15 years old when my art teacher encouraged me to continue my study in art. I didn’t take it seriously at that time. It was at a later age that I had a self-realization. I did not seem to be very good at other things but I could draw and paint extremely well. That’s when I enrolled in a School of Arts in Singapore and decided to become a full-time artist.
How did your collaboration with Opera Gallery come to be?
I was contacted by the director of Opera Gallery from London. She found me through the website. I had some works in Milan but mostly Singapore and Hong Kong. She got me in touch with the Opera Gallery here in Hong Kong and that was the start of it. I’ve previously done a mini solo show as well with Opera Gallery. I did an artist talk and we had a nice review from the audience. I’ve been working with Opera Gallery for a few years now. My work is collected by many people from different places and that’s great for me.
What do you think of the Hong Kong art scene?
I believe it’s commercially strong. I can only compare it to Singapore because I stayed there for a long time. It has a suitable combination of commercial and academic style. I still think there is more of an academic aspect in Singapore. The art scene is very active there and certain exhibition spaces are generously allocated to students so there is a certain buzz with artists. I think it’s good to keep in touch with the academic base and find potentially good artists from that perspective.
On the other hand, Hong Kong may not be strong on that aspect but it is very upfront in the commercial aspect. It has its own strength being active in events, galleries, auction houses. It’s a good thing but in a way, if there is a little bit more of a combination of other features, then that would be so much better.
ASIA ABSTRACT AT OPERA GALLERY
A celebration of the history and heritage of Asian Art, Opera Gallery unveils a stunning art exhibition. Through abstract art, the exhibition will launch a dialogue that interlinks the past and present, traditional and modern designs, and Eastern and Western influences. Created through time-honored practices of traditional Asian art, each piece will reflect the artist’s diverse cultural background and experiences abroad. Among the featured artists are Chinese-French artists, Zao Wou-Ki, Chu Teh-Chun and Feng Xiao-Min known for their modernist approach in integrating traditional Chinese brush-and-ink technique with Western abstract art.
When: September 28–October 31, 2018
Where: Opera Gallery, W Place, 52 Wyndham Street, Central
For more details, visit www.operagallery.com