Comic book artist Little Thunder has made a name for herself over the years as an exceptionally talented and diverse artist, illustrating fantastically detailed Hong Kong-inspired scenes and sultry, sexually empowered women with a deft hand.
Little Thunder’s poster for the HK Tattoo Convention
The Hong Kong local, who has a staggering 17 years of experience in comic drawing, has amassed a sizeable following on Instagram for her daily photos and videos, many of which feature works in progress or mini projects.
A work-in-progress video by Little Thunder
One such project, labelled under the hashtag #littlethunderlivesinhongkong, features Little Thunder’s trademark drawings of women, often pensive, superimposed over photographs of Hong Kong.
Some of the visually striking photos used in the project feature the busy streets of Kwun Tong, North Point, and Wan Chai, although Little Thunder seems to deliberately avoid the more towering, glassy skyscrapers of the city’s skyline, instead opting for less developed areas that hark back to earlier Hong Kong architecture.
The figures vary in size depending on the context; some loom large over streets and buildings, hiding behind and draping over Hong Kong’s iconic round corner buildings. One pocket-sized girl lies amongst HK-style coconut tarts (yeah, coconuts!), a fluted pastry cup crumpled behind her head.
Other quintessential Hong Kong imagery represented in Little Thunder’s series includes the humble cha chaan teng, one of which looks untouched with its decades-old decor and Coca-Cola sponsored adornments, a seemingly perfect balance of kitsch and prosaic.
We would be underestimating Little Thunder to assume the vignettes of Hong Kong presented seem far removed from its international reputation purely by coincidence – the artist has spoken out many times about her disdain for the city’s lack of cultural preservation.
She has previously posted videos of herself scrubbing out drawings of imaginary locales composed of pawn shops, Sammy’s neon cow sign, and her apparent favourite, the mid-20th century round corner buildings.
Between the recent unveiling of The Avenue in Wan Chai, which has disappointed locals due to the developers’ failure to honour their vows to former shopowners, to the seemingly ubiquitous plans to decimate unprotected historical buildings, artists and photographers like Little Thunder may be the key to preserving the last remaining fragments of old Hong Kong charm.
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