Interview: Emily Law
Luca Curci talks with Emily Law during VISIONS, third appointment of ANIMA MUNDI 2022, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
I am from Hong Kong. I graduated from the Degree of Building Services Engineering and later completed the Advanced Diploma in Fine Art. Furthermore, I apprenticed under different famous Chinese painting artists to practice Chinese painting and calligraphy. I planned & participated in a number of group exhibitions from 2012. I also have my solo exhibitions. I am a co-founder of the charity art group “Serendipity” formed in 2015 in Hong Kong and now I am the secretary of the association. My artworks are exhibited at local galleries and Asian cities, Seoul and Osaka.
I like to use nature objects for my creation theme. My works are based on the theme of observing and deconstructing nature, depicting plants, animals & human beings. In the early stage of my creation, especially wild flowers growing roadsides and trailing vines attachment. For example, the Vitality series is mainly depicted to express the power of plants. I love to use different media for my creation, such as oil painting, acrylic, pastel, watercolor and ink.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Emily Law – Currently, I am working with the beautiful summer flowers as the theme. Those flowers are in full bloom here. The creation presented in combination with realistic and abstraction. This theme is talking about the protagonist, implying that the little life is also living brilliantly under hot summer circumstances, even short life. The completed works include Cycle of small life, Starry of Summer night, Summer Amaryllies and Unexpected to Meet & Apart.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
EL – I have trained both in western and eastern art and made the best use of both skill sets to depict my feelings through my artworks with brush strokes and paint. I am going to use the techniques of western art and traditional Chinese art in my painting. The combination of east and west technique and mixed the methods of traditional and contemporary can bring a new wave to art lovers. On the other hand, I work as an architectural technical supporting and building technology team for the campus development office of a university. The scope of works are covering the design and architectural drawing of indoor and outdoor construction and decoration projects over the campus. The huge campus is located in the suburbs, so the buildings are integrated into nature. The nature matters over campus, such as flowers, birds, grass and trees triggered my inspiration.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
EL – Yes, my style changed over years and years. In the early stage, I mainly focused on realism and figurative expressionism. When I have a certain understanding and a certain number of art works come out, I want to look for new artistic concepts. The concept of abstract is shocking me very much so I am going to integrate abstract concepts into my creations. They are separated into traditional and contemporary techniques and concepts of Chinese art, I like to mix these methods and themes. I enjoy the comfortable feeling of developing the subject matter. The colour composition, the line and plane present are also changed in my creations. So finally, my creations are a new form combined with west and east, tradition and new. However, ink or black colour are also the basic colour elements of my works. I think if the creative series reaches a stage and the creature may repeat to a similar style, people may judge the artist still in creating. I change my style in different periods rather than just staying in the original.
LC – What is your creative process like?
EL – The traditional medium of Chinese painting mainly uses ink and colour pigments extracted from minerals or plants. These colours and ink are water based features and paint on thin and transparent paper (rice paper). This special and unique paper is produced from China. In terms of creation, I will continue to work repeatedly to pursue perfection to present. If the work comes out not feeling perfect, I will repaint it. I would rather give up and paint another piece until I am satisfied. Even the creation process of some works took a long time. When an idea came out, these concepts began to give me a rough sketch in my mind. Then I will try to sketch these inspirations. When the sketch and composition are almost satisfied, I begin to modify the completion of the work, assembling the realism object and transforming abstract ideas and thinking into a concrete picture and presenting. I have been eager to learn, appreciate and absorb new ideas. Sometimes, I visit many aspects of art to get a burst of creativity. Communication with different artists and exchange of ideas will certainly stimulate creation.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
EL – The most challenging part comes from the concept and unpredictable result. When I imagine some ideas, I will think about how to express them and present them. I worry the consequences are not within my expectation, that is the big challenge for me. The colour range of Chinese painting pigments are less choice, about 10 and colour series in 5 elements, black, white, red, yellow and blue. The pigments are also transparent, similar to watercolor. The nature of colour and paper cannot paint layer and layer. Too many layers will damage the paper, I have to prepare the sketching and then transform on the rice paper. Therefore, I will think carefully even when the imagination comes to my mind.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
EL – Thank you for loving my paintings. My two paintings shown for the festival as a part of preexisting works created in 2021 named as coexistence (1) & (2). These two paintings are from the series of COVID-19 and selected for entry of Art Next expo participation.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
EL – I think the linking with the festival’s theme of my two paintings is about the virus. Virus is a kind of organism or we call it microorganism. We can’t see them through our eyes but we know that they exist. We must live with them because they have existed for a long time. The spirit is similar to the Anima Mundi and Vision, soul and vision according to several systems of thought, an intrinsic connection between all living beings on earth, a kind of energy.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
EL – My first time knowing about ITSLIQUID platform was when I received the email from your project coordinator’s invitation. I am very surprised and appreciative with this opportunity to show my works outside Asia. Itsliquid provided many services and events. These events can suit different artists’ situations to promote their artworks.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
EL – Definitely, ITSLIQUID GROUP can provide the opportunity for artists to present their works, especially artists from different countries. I am appreciative of being on the list of artists under ITSLIQUID and I have this chance to show my creations at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello, Venezia. Thank you the curator, Mr. Luca Curci and the project coordinator, Ms Giulia Morroni invited me and selected me to exhibit.