“The amorous subject’s propensity to talk copiously, with repressed feeling, to the loved being, about his love for that being, for himself, for them; the declaration does not bear upon the avowal of love, but upon the endlessly glossed form of the amorous relation.” *
* “A lover's discourse: fragments” written by Roland Barthes; translated by Richard Howard
“Brush Castle de Studio” at JCCAC unit L4-09-10 was co-founded by husband and wife artists and soulmates Cho Kwok Ting (Connie) and Cheng Chin Man (ManGorGor). On the day of our visit, we were enchanted by the love that was in the air and their generous sharing of artistic thoughts……
About her – “The creative process from blank canvas to colourful work is both self-absorbing and liberating.”
Connie holds a master degree in fine art (painting) from the University of the Arts in London, and is a painting lecturer at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She fell in love with painting at a young age. “Colours fascinated me so much that I almost wanted to gobble them up!” She studied with masters Chu Ka Ming and Lai Ming respectively in western and Lingnan style Chinese painting. Her works are characterised by the permeation of Chinese and Western elements, combining Western painting techniques (such as macro concept and perspective) and Chinese influences (like micro precision, ink shading and “luibai” - blank-leaving technique). Her set of five paintings from the “Reflections” series were selected for the "Hong Kong Contemporary Art Awards 2012" and have been exhibited in The Hong Kong Museum of Art and collected by the Legislative Council of HKSAR.
As someone “fascinated by the artistic style of Claude Monet and enlightened by the works and writings of Wu Guanzhong (who was hailed as the father of modern Chinese painting),” Connie believes that art-making should transcend technical flare to reveal the artist’s profound values and beliefs. She is grateful for the cultural enrichment, through the study of classic works in literature and drama, that she had as a student in stage design. “I believe that cultural enrichment in other disciplines is important for an artist. It helps lend depth of meaning to the colours, lines and brushstrokes on the canvas.”
About him – “To explore reality with a sense of humour.”
ManGorGor obtained his master degree in music composition from The University of Manchester, supported by the Chevening Postgraduate Scholarships of The British Council, and is currently studying for a Master of Arts in Fine Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. As an artist, he is just as comfortable expressing his thoughts and reflections on life through the creative media of music composition and painting.
Juxtaposing a vividly colourful, simplistic and almost cartoon-like style with humorous but enigmatic messages, ManGorGor delves deep to explore the profound nature of human existence. In the “Embryo” series, he uses this emblematic motif to “symbolise the fundamentally same and equal nature of individuals” and asks “how can one thus develop strengths to break through inherent limitations?” His work “Give or Gain” is toilet humour with a philosophical message “ When giving (excretion) and receiving (relief) happen simultaneously, how does one define give and take?” His works do not offer direct answers or critical judgement for viewers, but a chance to provoke their contemplation. .
About them – “We just seem to get along fine.”
It was the theatrical arts that brought them together 18 years ago, when they were studying at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts - Connie in Set and Costume Design and ManGorGor Sound in Technology and Music Recording. Kindred spirits met and they lived happily ever after, sharing a sweet home, an artist studio and a vibrant children painting workshop.
Connie and ManGorGor are probably some of the friendliest and most easy going people you can ever hope to meet, but they confess that there is another side to their temperament. “We transform into the stubbornest people when it comes to our art.” They smiled apologetically. Working and living together 24/7 surely must be a formula for conflict? “Somehow we just seem to get along fine and find very little cause to argue. Sharing similar tastes and interests probably helped.” Their chemistry was apparent in their collaborative on-site electronic medium painting at the "Water Light Graffiti" of Le French May Arts Festival 2015.
Like the impressionist artists that they admire, Connie and ManGorGor also love to paint outdoors. “To capture the moment, the fleeting lights and shades in nature, is another pleasing challenge for painters.” “Plus we love the outdoors to feel the breeze and smell the sea……” Sharing as they did, the chemistry in their gaze spoke volumes.
Paintings 《Imagine this is your Planet》 and 《Born to be Van Gogh》 respectively by Connie Cho and ManGorGor are now on show at “Art@MTR 2016” exhibition.
Date︰Until 30 / 4 / 2016
Location：MTR Central Station (Entrance/Exit J)
《JCCAC PROGRAMMES》(2016 Apr issue)