Tsang Kin-Wah has been selected to represent Hong Kong for the 56th Venice Art Biennale in 2015. With his works in permanent collections such as M+, Burger Collection, and Camberwell College of Arts, to list a few, the soft spoken artist walks me through his studio practice. He tells me what inspires him, whether he’s an optimist or pessimist, and in an ideal world, how he’d like his art to be experienced.
Erika Wong – What inspired you to become an artist?
Tsang Kin-Wah – I liked drawing a lot as a kid. Around 7 or 8 years old, I wanted to be a painter. I learned everything about art I could in school-studying drawing, painting and Chinese Calligraphy. After graduation from secondary school I continued to make art, that’s how I became an artist.
EW – Do you think Chinese Calligraphy was an influence on the work you make now?
TKW – It wasn’t apparent when I was a student. When I started to make my own work, I wanted to put something I enjoyed into my pieces; I realised I liked text and calligraphy, that’s why I started to use a lot of text in my work. With time, I realised Chinese Calligraphy influenced me heavily. The practice of calligraphy requires one to think about stroke placement within the paper, and the calculation of the spacial relationship within the paper, which both relate to space and typography. When text is used in my videos, I think about where I should place my text which will have the highest impact.
EW – What inspires you?
TKW – Books, films, people watching from daily life.
EW – Are you an optimist or pessimist?
TKW – I’m not very optimistic.
EW – How would your like your art to be experienced in an ideal world?
TKW – I don’t think about how the audience will experience the work; I’m still concerned with how I make and display the work. I can’t control the audience.
Venice Art Biennale will run from May 9 – November 22, 2015.
- The Second Seal - Every Being That Opposes Progress Should Be Food For You, Xth Biennale de Lyon, La Sucriere, Lyon, 2009
- The Sixth Seal - HE Is Something Should Be Overcome. You Are Something That Should Be Overcome, Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, 2014
- Ecce Homo Trilogy I, 2011-12