Heung Gong Yan… Ga Yau!!

Joined the city’s protest for the fourth time this summer. It was a rainy day, but it didn’t stop 1.7 million Hongkongers from coming out to voice out their disapproval of our government and its police force.

On top of the 5 somewhat consistent petitions, the main theme for today’s rally was against police brutality. Since the city’s protests started in early June, we had witnessed too many unjustified violence excercised by HK Police Force (e.g. colluding with triads, deploying thousands of tear gas canisters, firing pepper guns at close range, pushing protesters down escalators…). The HKPF’s brutality was often followed by stupid explanations and was highly praised by the government.

I believe there’s just too much injustice being built up in our city. Today I was determined more than before to join the millions of Hongkongers to rally against Injustice and in support of Freedom. Carrie Lam, do you hear the people sing?

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

Sketch… Sunday Service

Week of Meetups

In midst of the lingering and worrisome protests that are happening everywhere in our city on a nearly daily basis, I managed to keep my social life intact and engaged in many rare and satisfying meetups this week…

It started off with a buffet lunch to celebrate my calligraphy classmate’s 91st bday on Tuesday! I drew him an ink portrait and had everyone signed during class. He was really happy that day, ate a lot of food, and even tricked us by paying the entire bill himself while getting a cup of coffee!

Then came the long awaited date with the girl-I-like on Thur. evening. She dressed up beautifully and had makeup on. I, on the other hand, did put on my jeans and shoes, an improvement already from my usual attire of shorts and flip flops. It’s been months (or even a year?) since I last met up with her, but it didn’t take too long for us to catch up and start engaging in more genuine conversations. I’m not much of a foodie, but I really enjoy sharing a meal with her and seeing her satisfying smile. Asked her out to see an exhibition together later this month. May God continue to bless this relationship.

The week ended with 2 more separate mini reunions, one with my primary school classmates and the other with my university fellowship, and both meetups happened because of friends visiting from US. The fellowship friend said he hasn’t been back to HK for 11 years and was transiting here only briefly for a day from a business trip. Glad we made it to meet up with him late last night in TST in midst of chaotic protests in the district.

As the protests in our city becomes ever more chaotic, I seem to yearn for closer relationships and cherish the time more when I’m with family and friends. At the same time, I also seem to be more easily irritated by loud noises and bickering. Honestly, I’m getting more and more tired of following the protest news and trying to sieve rights from wrongs. Can we take a break and get a little breather?

Sketch… Sunday Service

Worrying about HK

On Monday Aug. 5th, I went back to the studio super early to avoid an expected traffic chaos due to a citywide strike. I personally supported the strike and only went back to the studio to work on some personal projects. Was feeling hopeful knowing our city’s CE finally decided to hold a press conference after hiding from the public for 2 weeks. My hope turned into worries afterwards as it looks like our government planned to continuously suppress the protesters by force (HK Police Force) rather than resolving the issues politically by addressing the 5 petitions. The HKPC deployed over 800 tear gas canisters at different corners of the city later on that day!

I’m even more worried now after listening to different political opinions and thinking over the current situation independently in the last couple of days. Without the Government and HKPC softening their tactics, the violence between protesters and HKPC will only escalate in a vicious cycle.

There’s really nothing I can help with the current worrying political situation other than offering my daily prayers. In this highly tensed political environment, I find myself withdrawing more to quiet solitudes, engaging in art and creative endeavors as a form of emotional outlet. One personal creative project is the launching of a website to collect 1000 unique Chinese characters for our city’s CE, Carrie Lam – www.1000letters2carrielam.com . Honestly, I don’t know what to make of the project, but I believe creativity has a role to play in this lingering protest, just not too sure how (yet).

Sketch… Sunday Service

Weekend Art Retreat

Over the weekend, I was fortunate enough to be invited back to WWF’s Island House to do some art. The location is truly a paradise that’s isolated from our ever more chaotic city. The staffs and volunteers there were also very friendly and accommodating, quite a stark contrast from the hostile faces that’s becoming common on our local news. I was telling the manager who invited me for the event that the environment there felt like Hawaii, and I sincerely meant it!

Inside the mostly quiet and sweet-smelling (my neighbor lady was selling incense oil) heritage building, I was able to concentrate and make a satisfying brush-and-ink drawing of the historic house. Once in a while, a staff would bring a group of guests to tour our room. Some guests would occasionally come over and watch me draw and I would invite them to help themselves with the critically endangered animals stickers and mini cards that were left over from my previous exhibition. I especially like seeing kids and would sometimes ask and write out their names in Chinese calligraphy, most of the kids and their parents really liked that despite my rusty skill.

Besides interacting with the occasional guests, I also befriended a few of the staffs at the Island House. A couple of them told me, out of the blue, that they loved to draw when they were young, but never pursued an artistic career. That surprised me somewhat. Maybe seeing me draw actually kindled their love of art? One’s love of art can actually bring out the artists in people, just like how I wanted to become an artist after seeing Lim Cheng Hoe and Wu Guanzhong’s exhibitions in SG? I sure hope they would continue to draw and make art on their own.

I really love doing art and would do it full-time if I can afford so. Would you want me to become a full-time artist, my Father in Heaven?

Back From Vacation

Got home late last night (~11pm) from a 10-day vacation in Singapore with my family…

It was my first time in SG, I was particularly taken away by its greenery everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. They truly live up to their “City in the Garden” reputation!

It was a much needed vacation to rest my body and soul from a seemingly never ending worrisome situation between the Hongkongers and the Government and its police force. I was sleeping very well for the first few nights despite sharing a hotel room with my dad who snores loudly. But since the horrifying violence broke out in Yuen Long late Sunday night, I resorted back to being a night owl and spent long late night hours catching up and sieving the news from an overwhelming sea of unverified news. My mood and sleep quality declined since then even though I had my own hotel room with a huge clean bed and a breathtaking view of the S’pore city.

Nonetheless, while having the opportunity to stay behind for 3 more days by myself, I did manage to use my daytime hours wisely to explore many museums and exhibitions throughout the city, my decision to stay disconnected while away from the hotel certainly helped. One particular satisfying exhibition was that of a Singaporean watercolor painter Lim Cheng Hoe. The artworks as well as the diaries he left behind was a testimony of how much he loved art, even though he was only able to enjoy it as a hobby on top of his full-time clerical job.

Seeing the LIM CHENG HOE: PAINTING SINGAPORE Exhibition certainly made me want to spend more time exploring art and writing up my journal, and it shall start with this entry post!

Sketch… Sunday Service

Sketch… Sunday Service