August 27, 2017

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A typhoon day inspiration

Typhoon keeps coming to Hong Kong, the best protection is probably to stay in. To a lot of people it is definitely a bummer - not only does the strong wind destruct normal order of life (deepest condolences to everyone in Macau), this typhoon also happens on a Sunday, forcing a lot of people to abandon any weekend (outdoor) plans they had. 

On this typhoon Sunday, I want to talk about this Shanghai illustrator who is good at many things. 

Inside this traditional Shanghainese lane house is the home to local artist Xiaolonghua. His artist name, directly translated to 'Little Dragon Flower', is a homonym of the word 'Xiao Long Bao' in the Shanghainese dialect. 

Quite heavily influenced by Japanese comics, Xiaolonghua's illustrations are meticulous, mysterious and full of meanings. He uses minimal colors that are mostly subtle in saturation, for his drawings. Here's one of his artwork: 

Looks great, doesn't it? The whole thing is so vibrant even though there are only a few low-key colors. And having it hung on a wall painted in this turquoise blue/green, they compliment each other in a very stylish way. 

However, what I want to talk about isn't just his drawings, but his ability to expand his skills from one dimension into another - not only does Xiaolonghua excel as a skilful painter, he is also a highly crafty sculptor who turns his own 2D drawings into 3D forms. Let's see this: 

Yep, the same drawing you just saw, is now transformed into a sculpture. More colors but still subtle, rich in details. 

Xiaolonghua's studio often seems busy and/or chaotic, but there's order in everything. He collects found objects to sculpt his work, and the outcomes are always amusing. Below is a sculpture of himself, made with only found objects. 

In his small studio, Xiaolonghua uses every inch of the space wisely so that he can include his favorite posters, books, music, and artwork within the confine of this little attic. Much like most people in Hong Kong today, space is scarce and we are all finding our ways to maximize the capacity of our homes. Choosing/ using the right furniture is one main key, and hats off to Xiaolonghua for building some of his own tables and chairs, apart from the ones he's gotten from relatives and antique markets. 

Sometimes we tend to be restricted by our surroundings, so it is important to always remind ourselves to 'think outside the box'. From creative actions of turning a flat object into 3-dimensional, to challenging the space and environment around us, we should never be too lazy to expand our ideas and minds - much like our new collection's title, Stretch Your Mind, it can be good for you! 

 

 


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