The book is available from Join Publishing (HK).
THE CITY AND THE PARADISE
Jointly published by Join Publishing (H.K.) Co., Ltd and local magazine NEW GEN. Monthly, with publishing funds partly provided by the Macau Culture Bureau, local Macau artist Eric Fok’s new book, Paradise: When Antique Maps Meet Modern Cities, has just been launched and is now on sale in Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Published in Chinese and English, with a first print of 1,400 copies, the new book features 60 selected pieces from over 200 pieces in Eric’s Paradise series, that he been working on since 2012. Included in the book is a print of his first-sale Paradise No.15; Paradise No.11 and No.16 which were selected for the 50thBologna Illustrators Exhibition; the awarded piece Paradise No.20 of the Portuguese Orient Foundation; and the work Heung San O Lee Ba which he specially created for the 5th Macau Literary Festival based on the Festival’s theme: “Tang Xianzu in Macau”.
Eric has been using ancient western map styles to discuss the problems and issues that come along with the development of modern cities. On specially made brown drawing paper, Eric uses needle lines to depict the past and present of Macau, as well as some other post-colonial cities like Hong Kong and Singapore, and Taipei.
Like many local schools, Eric’s school didn’t really teach Macau history. His own interest in Macau’s history was trigged in 2012 when the gaming industry was booming and Cotai was full of construction sites. On one occasion Eric found an old map of Macau and noticed the coastline had changed a lot. It was quite a shock to him. Therefore, with many questions, he started to read relevant books, watch films, and go to libraries; he even tried reading Portuguese references, in order to search for the past of Macau.
“The city has been decaying and developing in turns; to review its history is also a rethink,” says Eric.
Eric then started to draw his own observations and thoughts about the city. Some of his works show an old map of Macau occupied by crowded casino shuttle buses, big casino buildings standing in the centre of the city two or three hundred years ago, a group of early Portuguese explorers from 1513 chasing after a taxi refusing to take passengers, or trying to get on a crowded bus…
In his Paradise series, Eric not only draws about Macau but also of some European cities from the Age of Discovery and other post-colonial cities. In doing so, the artist hopes to find some answers to his questions about Macau and to understand the development of other cities.
Also featured in his new book is a scroll named Paradise: Hong Kong. In this painting, Eric depicts when British merchant ships landed in Hong Kong over a hundred years ago, together with the present-day modern buildings alongside the Victoria Harbour. And if you look closely, you can see many tents on the bridge with journalists taking photos – a familiar scene of the protest movement that happened to the city two years ago.
“I wanted to draw about Hong Kong’s past and present, to examine the opinions about the Umbrella Revolution; it was a very important historical event,” Eric explains. “I was looking for solutions when I started to draw. I read each city’s developing stories; some teach you about the experiences, some teach you lessons. However, gradually I realized not everything is that simple and easy to change, especially when you do care about the city,” Eric comments emotionally.
“What can we do? What can we change? ” Eric writes in his book’s preface. “I confess that I do not have the courage to step up and protest, but perhaps I can record my thoughts and questions for this society and generation with my technical pen at best.”
Text from From Karin Weber website…
Karin Weber Gallery is pleased to present artist Eric Fok’s debut solo exhibition in Hong Kong during the Hong Kong Art Week.
Following the tremendous success of his joint exhibition in our gallery last year, Eric returns to Hong Kong with exquisitely crafted works made on fine paper, wood and leather. Delving into his own imagination, fantasies, knowledge of world history, antique maps and legends and careful observation of cityscapes, Fok converts the gallery into his personal library. An eclectic collection of maps, records and objects are presented which chronicle the evolvement of cities following the Age of Exploration, postcolonial phenomenon and impact of migration of population in the Hong Kong context.
Maps existed before written words. Eric’s ‘maps’ have the capability to open worlds of reality and imagination. They evoke hopes and fears. They also pose graphic challenges as Eric strenuously draws on a very small scale, which entails formidable difficulty.
‘Wunderkammer’, ‘golden era’, ‘heritage’ and ‘paradise’ are the keywords of his eagerly awaited solo exhibition in Hong Kong.
About the Artist:
Eric Fok (b. 1990) graduated from the Macao Polytechnic Institute and currently lives and works in Macao and Taipei. Eric has taken part in many exhibitions in Macao, Taiwan, China, Portugal and Spain. His works form part of several prestigious public collections including the Macau Government Headquarters (Governor’s Palace), Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macau S.A.R., Oriental Foundation, Macau Museum of Art, The Orient Museum (Portugal), University Museum and Art Gallery (HKU), and private collections in Hong Kong, Macau, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Italy, USA and United Kingdom.
“Two or Three Things I Know About Qipao, and the Women Who Brought It to Life” – Priscilla Chan Exhibit Curator
In order to help Hong Kong Sacred Spaces members learn more about the classic Qipao / Cheongsam ( 長衫) and have some background information before attending our upcoming visit to the Hong Kong Film Archive’s Exhibit “The Stars, the Silver Screen, and the Qipao“, I am creating a series of posts that will act as a resource for further study. Some of the articles like the one below will be a summary of the exhibit and of the curatorial and preservation work done for it while others will be slightly more in-depth and academic. My hope is to have some workable resource pages for those who wish to study Qipao in the future. The following article is from the most recent Hong Kong Film Archives monthly newsletter. I encourage you to read this bilingual newsletter as HKFA has proven itself to be one of the most impressive cultural organizations in Hong Kong covering not only Chinese Cinema but many other ancillary arts like costume design.
Images and text from the Hong Kong Film Archive
In our ever-expanding effort to add more and more institutions to our Sacred Spaces list, 香港 Sacred Spaces had scheduled an English language tour of a fascinating exhibit called “In Praise of Silk” organized by China’s National Silk Museum in Hangzhou and Hong Kong’s Design Insititute. Everyone associates silk with China but like many aspects of Chinese culture, general knowledge is “an inch deep and a mile long” as they say. Come along with 香港 Sacred Spaces to delve a little deeper into this most important fabric.
Why you should come with Sacred Spaces to this exhibit…
• Explore ancient mulberry silk technology.
• View historical pieces from past Imperial Dynasties as well as replicas used in film and television.
• Contemplate the future of Chinese Fashion with current pieces from designers like Barry Chang from Blanc de Chine.
It will be the first time we’ll visit the HKDI as a group so I think it will be fun to explore the grounds after our tour.
Check out the description from HKDI.
“HKDI Gallery Presents a tribute to the beautiful fiber that has long been a renowned Chinese heritage: mulberry silk. Presented by HKDI’s Department of Fashion and Image Design, in collaboration with the China National Silk Museum, one of the largest textile museums in the world, this fascinating display provides an insightful journey through the millennia-long evolution of China’s silk culture and its global impact. Exhibits range from ancient Chinese silk work designs to contemporary fashion, weaving looms, animations, photographs, and more.
絲綢是揚名世界的中華傳統文化瑰寶。是次「HKDI Gallery Presents」展覽向蠶絲致敬，由香港知專設計學院時裝及形象設計學系，與全球最大紡織博物館之一 ─ 中國絲綢博物館合辦，讓觀眾一睹古今中國時裝服飾與絲綢文化的演變，及其對世界的影響。展覽涵蓋中國古代絲織設計到當代時尚服裝，同場展示緙絲織機、動畫裝置、照片等展品。
Contemporary Fashion in China
1978 Open Door Policy – The Design Pioneers
1978年改革開放 ─ 設計先鋒
In 1978, China embarked on its open door policy. After decades of uniforms, fashion shows became trendsetters, together with TV programmes, movies, and concerts. The first generation of designers, born around the 1960s and well tested by hardship, had usually held a variety of jobs in addition to design. They often retained strong links to their schools and later returned to teach the next generation. They were knowledgeable about and respected historical Chinese clothing styles. They were also politically aware, patriotic, and active on design-related committees and in industrial and business associations. These designers’ works were often reminiscent of the classic elegance of the era from 1920-1950: pragmatic and beautiful.
中國在1978年實施「改革開放」政策。經歷了二十多年的制服式衣著，這時期出現時裝表演新時尚，加上電視、電影與音樂會，一起帶領潮流。第一代中國時裝設計師大多出生於1960年代前後，他們往往飽受艱苦生活的磨練，在設計以外擔任多種不同工作，與學校有較深的聯繫，不少人畢業後選擇回母校教育下一代。從作品可見，他們對歷史服飾有深厚的認識及尊重。他們政治觸覺敏銳，熱愛民族文化，並活躍於專業及工商團體。這一代設計師的作品，經常帶有復古懷舊氣息，重現 1920 – 1950年代的樸實典雅風格。
The 1990s – The Design Practitioners
90年代 ─ 實戰經驗
In the 1990s, the Chinese fashion world rapidly advanced. International fashion publications launched Chinese editions and the China Fashion Association (CFA), Brother Cup China International Young Fashion Designers Contest, Chinese model competitions, and China Fashion Week were established. The fashion designer stars of this period were born in the late 1960s and 1970s. They had usually received a good education and many had studied or worked abroad or had had experience working in state-owned and private companies. As practitioners, they went on to develop diverse styles and approaches in line with the commercial market. After gaining fame through winning contests, many established their own brands and successfully promoted themselves through the media. There was much less of a traditional Chinese element in these designers’ works. Some were influenced by trends in Japan and Europe and adopted spiritual and philosophical ideas – harmony, peace, and nature – in their designs.
The New Millennium – A Flourishing Mix of Ideas
千禧年代 ─ 百花齊放
The rapid growth of information technology fueled China’s fashion industry, from production to promotion to sales. The Beijing Olympics in 2008 set the stage for the country to impress the world with its design and style capabilities and potential. Leading global museums, including London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and New York’s Metropolitan Museum, held major exhibitions on Chinese costumes and fashion, and Chinese faces became familiar in international fashion weeks. At home, rising GDP led to further expansion of the middle class and the birth of a nouveau riche class. Education abroad, opportunities for travel for leisure, innovative museums and an increasingly active art scene all brought fresh ideas. As these influences intertwined and evolved, clothing became a billboard to showcase a person’s identity.
Historical Treasures from China National Silk Museum
Replicas of Historical Costumes
The China National Silk Museum is the country’s Key Scientific Research Base for Textile Conservation. The Museum has participated in many excavations and studies of archaeological textiles and costumes. During the conservation process, information on fibers, dye, weave and make of costumes is recorded and studied while the making of a replica becomes a way to learn more about how clothing was originally constructed. Replicas are also useful when the originals are too fragile to be exhibited. Often, full information cannot be located from one source and descriptions from ancient texts and finds from other excavations are used for additional reference. Costumes on display in this exhibition are the result of such studies.
Animation of Handscroll of Sericulture and Weaving by Lou Shou (1090－1162), Southern Song Dynasty
《蠶織圖》動畫 原圖來自南宋《蠶織圖》，樓璹 (公元1090－1162年)
In imperial China, pictures and other representations of tilling and weaving were an important means for rulers to demonstrate their interest in the welfare of the people as well as highlight ideals related to rural life, social harmony, and political order. This 12th-century scroll is the earliest Chinese painting known to show the entire process of sericulture. Originally part of the Chinese imperial collection, it was taken to Northeast China in the 1930s by the last Qing Dynasty ruler, Puyi, when he was installed as Emperor of Manchukuo by the Japanese. The scroll was lost when Puyi was deposed at the end of World War II. It was rediscovered in 1947, purchased by Feng Yixin, a private citizen, and donated to Heilongjiang Museum in 1983.