Wong Wing Shan, Pat
After moving into JCCAC in late 2022, how do you feel about this place?
JCCAC doesn’t draw crowds at night, but in fact a considerable number of resident artists do work there until late. Sometimes, when I finish my work in the middle of the night, I notice that other studios still have their lights on. Working seven days a week can be quite exhausting, but seeing the passion and dedication of my JCCAC peers as they work tirelessly day and night makes me feel less alone.
As an assistant professor at Academy of Visual Arts (AVA), Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), how do you manage to juggle both teaching and creating?
I strive to integrate rather than balance my passion for teaching and creating. By drawing inspiration from my teaching experiences to fuel my creative endeavors, and utilising my creative process to inform my teaching approach, I aim to seamlessly intertwine the two. I incorporate my artistic expressions into my lessons and encourage my students to actively engage with them. Together, we experiment with new ideas, explore complex questions and pursue diverse possibilities, all while learning from each other.
Image courtesy: the Artist
In your creative process, how do you trade off the needs of different commercial brands and organisations?
My professional endeavors encompass a range of creative pursuits, including commercial illustration, academic research, and contemporary art practice. In my work as a commercial illustrator, my primary focus is on meeting the specific needs of my clients. I accomplish this by carefully reviewing the project brief and incorporating key elements into the illustration to effectively convey the desired message to the target audience.
In my contemporary art practice, my focus is on creating works that respond to, or raise awareness of, current social contexts. The format of my work is diverse, as I consider the appropriate presentation for each piece.
When it comes to my academic research, I delve into philosophical ideas and engage in in-depth discussions to explore the possibility of creating new understandings of knowledge. My approach is to trace commonalities and differences in order to gain a deeper understanding of complex questions.
Despite the vastly different resources and formats required for these three areas of my work, I’ve recently discovered a way to combine my skill sets to create a unique creative practice. My academic thinking process has increased my sensitivity to uncover questions, while my commercial experience has made my perspective more unique in discovering topics related to authorship, consumerism, and pop culture, among others.
What was the concept behind your creation of JCCAC 15th Anniversary key visual?
The chess board design concept is inspired by the visual elements of JCCAC architecture, using straight lines and blocks to create a striking aesthetic. The building’s corridors serve as pathways for JCCAC’s occupants to navigate, and I have inserted members of the community into the grids thus created – including artists, security guards, visitors, and the odd stray cat, who interweave their daily routines to form a cohesive community at JCCAC. The resulting experience is akin to playing a game of chess, where the entities within must navigate their environment and each other to create a shared arts adventure.
What new projects do you plan to launch next?
Since becoming an assistant professor at BU AVA, I have delved deeper into proposal writing and academic research, and I have found these new challenges to be both fulfilling and satisfying. Alongside my teaching responsibilities, I am currently collaborating with Kachi Chan, a digital architectural artist, on a project involving 3D scanning to archive old shops in Hong Kong. Our goal is to explore the spatial, historical, and cultural aspects of Hong Kong’s heritage, and we plan to use this research to create a virtual archive and a performative physical exhibition in September 2023.