Photoshop wiz behind Instagram account ‘SurrealHK’ to host Sheung Wan exhibition

Tommy Fung, the mastermind behind Surreal HK, creates quirky depictions of Hong Kong scenes. Photos from Instagram/SurrealHK
Tommy Fung, the mastermind behind Surreal HK, creates quirky depictions of Hong Kong scenes. Photos from Instagram/SurrealHK

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

The out-of-this-world pictures on SurrealHK’s Instagram feed have Queen’s existential lyrics written all over them, and now, the artist is taking his Photoshop magic offline and into the physical realm.

From Oct. 31 to Nov. 8, Instagram creative SurrealHK will be hosting an exhibition at 13a New Street Art Gallery in Sheung Wan. Tommy Fung, the mastermind behind the account, uses digital manipulation to create unique twists on familiar Hong Kong sights. He also posts his work on Facebook.

His exhibition, titled “My Surreal Life” in Hong Kong, will focus on the city’s housing problem using Tetris-inspired renderings of public housing blocks such as Choi Hung Estate and Wah Fu Estate, according to Stand News.

From colorful koi swimming in inundated streets to the Big Buddha wearing a mask, his creativity is one to be marveled at—and a refreshing, if mind-bending, break from the tried and tested photography that often floods our Instagram feeds.

Fung takes and edits every photo by himself, with the process sometimes taking up to 30 hours to complete, he told South China Morning Post’s Young Post.

The Hong Kong-based artist emigrated to Venezuela when he was nine and returned in 2016 to pursue a career in design and photography.

Looking for a way to gain exposure in a city that was still relatively new to him, Fung turned to Instagram to publish his work.

Read more: Hong Kong artist with an eye for the ‘surreal’ turns city into a playground

He goes around taking photos and finding inspiration for new projects, all the time gaining appreciation for the urban jungle.

Fung’s work also takes a satirical spin on social issues, frequently spotlighting the pro-democracy protests and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“What I aim to do with my work is to give people a good laugh,” Fung told Young Post.

My Surreal Life exhibition

Date: Oct. 31 to Nov. 8 (closed on Mondays)
Time: 12pm to 7pm
Venue: 13a New Street Art Gallery

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