Sass Patrol, Alex Wagner
It’s often said that visitors see Hong Kong through rose-tinted glasses, blissfully unaware of the economic and social concerns that lie beneath the veneer of financial dominance. Such unadulterated innocence can, however, throw up unique themes and questions, as well as vivid and beautiful imagery of our city as seen through the eyes of outsiders.
An–Archy, Alex Wagner
One such example comes from New York-based artist and graphic designer Alex (William) Kinal Wagner, who will tonight be partaking in the shotgun Oh K La! exhibition (between 6:30pm and 9:30pm only) with 10 fellow SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) students currently spending a semester in Hong Kong.
Shopkeeper, Alex Wagner
All were challenged to create work inspired by our city, with Wagner claiming his depicts, “my exploration down the rabbit hole — my looking glass to Hong Kong”.
The young American designer explains how his artistic connection with Hong Kong began on arrival, when he found himself getting lost in, and becoming overwhelmed by, the “Chinese traditions and exotic influences that have transformed into Hong Kong’s thriving commercial centre”.
Broadway Act, Alex Wagner
Using both traditional and modern illustration techniques, his Hong Kong collection captures chance meetings and intimate moments through sensitive lines and extravagant blocks of colour, with the latter highly influenced by the buzzing neon lights that engulf the collective consciousness of Hong Kong.
“The vibrant neon signs struck me as magical,” says Wagner. “And, over my stay, this magic has had its way with me”. (Naughty magic!)
The Seven Eleven
Wagner is just one of 11 students who will be exhibiting their work at ESPACE Hong Kong Gallery (7/F, Grand Building, 15 Connaught Road, Central) tonight.
Also look out for Chris Chan’s graphic monologue of a fashion rebel in Asia’s World City; Maf Rodriguez’s vision of equality through anthropomorphic giant pandas replacing the throngs on streets; and Alexandra Prachthauser’s visual essay about women in classic Hong Kong movies.
Visit the Facebook event page for more information.