“Drawing is a way to rest.”
Local sketch drawing artist Fan Sai Hong holds his first solo exhibition in Taipa Village Art Space with his unique collection of drawings that documented the traces of his personal life journey discovery over a decade. The variety of media, formats and artistic expressions showcase a wide range of drawing styles which reflect Hong’s mood at each specific period of time, representing the direct outcome of his state of mind in depicting the circumstances of his life. The creative progress has manifested Hong’s mind evolution as he grows older.
This exhibition also debuts Hong’s “No Name” comic book series that were incepted in 2016, featuring 40 drawings which collectively tell the story of a little boy who enters into a lonely journey through the wilderness as a way to make the spiritual transition into manhood. The storyboard reveals Hong’s belief in the ideal relationship between man and nature, where the simple things in life prevail and are manifested in their purest state.
About Fan Sai Hong
Born in Macau, Hong first developed life sketching and watercolor painting skills at the age of 4 or 5, following the guidance of Mr. Liao Wenchang. He went to Hangzhou to further his education (majoring in electrical engineering) and spent his spare time sketching. At age 21, he went back to Macau without completing his undergraduate education in Hangzhou. He enrolled in visual arts night courses at Macao Polytechnic Institute and continued to sketch objects as they are seen. At the same time, he started working at the Old Ladies’ House Art Space. Inspired by Mr. Yank Wong (HK) and Ms. Morgan O’hara (USA), Hong made a transition into abstract painting, seeing with his heart instead of his eyes. At age 23, he returned to Macau after participating in the Nippon International Performance Art Festival (NIPAF’03), resigned from his job at the Old Ladies’ House Art Space, deferred his studies and rented a shipyard in Coloane for sculpting. No pictures were taken of his finished work, which has been kept under wraps ever since. Later, Hong took up a computer graphics job at an air-conditioning installation company and devoted his free time to sketching. He selected some of his sketchbook drawings and published FAI CHI KEI 6th ANDAR by the end of that year. He returned to school after his year away, and his sketching life went on. At the age of 26, he graduated from the Macao Polytechnic Institute, quitted his job and spent a year visiting New Zealand, Australia, Spain and Portugal. He kept on sketching but not as much as before. After returning to Macau, he took part in some local exhibitions in Macau. Thirty-three-year-old Hong has drawn inspiration from Hong Kong independent comic artist (Siu Hak Chi Hoi) and has begun to publish his work on Facebook and to try his hand at graphic novel drawing.
This first solo exhibition comprises a selection of sketchbook drawings from Hong’s private collection, which spans more than a decade, from 2002 to 2017. This selection brings together a wide range of drawing styles, reflecting his mood at each specific period in time, such as when he was involved in different lines of work (e.g., at an air-conditioning installation company and at the Old Ladies’ House Art Space), learning different skills (while studying electrical engineering in Hangzhou and taking night classes at Macau Polytechnic Institute), travelling and dwelling in foreign landscapes (a sabbatical year during which he travelled around New Zealand for nine whole months as well as visiting other places, including Australia, Portugal and Spain), and testing himself in other forms of art (participating in NIPAF’03, the 10th Nippon International Performance Art Festival, as a performance artist).
All these drawings are traces of his personal journey of discovery through life, which, in a carefree manner, is documented in a variety of media, formats and artistic expressions, which in fact cannot be repeated or reproduced. As pointed out by the artist himself, “I am no longer that person anymore”. As a result, these sketchbook drawings are fundamentally biographical, each a direct outcome of his state of mind at a circumstantial event of his life, which evolves and changes organically as Hong grows older.
The latest, and more mature, work is the storyboard entitled “No Name” comic book. This storyboard presented in the exhibition is an ongoing project, from its inception in 2016. It is the first book of four. It tells the story of a personal journey of a little boy: the unfolding of his walkabout. It consists of a lonely journey in the wilderness as a way to make the spiritual transition into manhood. This walkabout reveals a highly poetic view of Hong’s belief in the ideal relationship between man and nature, in which the simple things in life prevail and are manifested in their purest state.