• A Meditative Gesture

    Date posted: August 24, 2010 Author: jolanta
    I was born in Fujian, China in 1977. I moved to Hong Kong with my mother in 1984. When I first moved there, I couldn’t understand Cantonese or English, so I had to drop two grades and started from kindergarten. The language, my age, and my identity made me feel different than everyone else, and I became a loner, and didn’t talk much. A major influence on me happened when I began going to church in middle school. The church I went to was very traditional and run by Chinese (up until now men and women are still seated separately). From there I found a goal for my life; I saw people who sacrificed themselves for their ideals, and I cultivated a habit of meditation, which allows me to focus on everything.

    Pak Sheung-Chuen

    Pak Sheung-Chuen, Breathing in a House, 2006. Korea (Busan), September 1-10, 2006. Courtesy of the artist.

    I was born in Fujian, China in 1977. I moved to Hong Kong with my mother in 1984. When I first moved there, I couldn’t understand Cantonese or English, so I had to drop two grades and started from kindergarten. The language, my age, and my identity made me feel different than everyone else, and I became a loner, and didn’t talk much. A major influence on me happened when I began going to church in middle school. The church I went to was very traditional and run by Chinese (up until now men and women are still seated separately). From there I found a goal for my life; I saw people who sacrificed themselves for their ideals, and I cultivated a habit of meditation, which allows me to focus on everything.

    In college I majored in art, and minored in theology. What I was searching for in art has always had something to do with the spiritual and the soul. I concentrated on painting, and was fond of Giorgia Morandi and Richard Long. I was obsessed with the sense of serenity and self-containment, and that little bit of mysteriousness that their works exude. In 2003 I started freelancing for a newspaper in Hong Kong. It was an experimental period for me. I went from the painting phase to a phase where I focused on conceptual and performative art. I stopped caring about just me, and started thinking more about Hong Kong politics and society. My subject was daily life, and I discovered a new angle in things most familiar to people. Sometimes it would be my own thoughts; other times it would be something interactive. Freelancing for the newspaper challenged the speed at which I worked with a weekly deadline. This column lasted for four years. It was the most important stage of my artistic career. During that time my biggest inspiration was Feng Zi-Kai and his articles and comic strips. I found in my own work a similar sense of observation and sympathy for all the things in the world.

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