“The Art of Memory”

The Art of Memory investigate themes of time, landscape and memory. Based on my
childhood in Hong Kong in the 1970’s, the drawings explore the distinctive landscape of
Hong Kong – the Aberdeens and Junks, while journeying through the sometimes clear,
sometimes cloudy, provocative paths of personal and appropriated memory. My sources
include my own family snapshots as well as snapshots posted on the Internet by other
foreigners raised in Hong Kong over the same years.

The series explores the questions: Is it possible for an artist to lay claim to other peoples’
memories? We tend to think of memory as deeply personal, but the memory I am drawing
from is both personal and borrowed. Who owns a memory? How does the art of rendering
transform a remembered image, and how are our memories shaped by and resurrected by
imagery? Is memory individual? How does art pose challenges to individual memory?

The drawings are built up with dense layers of cross-hatching and the marks serve to both
define and obscure the image. For example, the cross-hatching in“The Birthday” is modeled
after Rembrandt’s intense chisaroscuro effect in etchings such as those in his “Descent from
the Cross” series. The imagery uses a small light source and gradually falls into a
mysterious darkness—mimicking the process of memory.

“The Boat People” and “Dream Escape” are rendered on toned paper and built up with
dense layers of cross-hatching using black and white charcoal. The white hatching provides
a revelatory light and an obscuring haze.