As an artist I've always been inspired by my immediate surroundings, watching people as they go about their daily lives. I regularly carry small sketch books and make quick on the spot sketches whenever possible, especially when traveling on public transport, at the hairdressers, in bars and cafes, where I can be as discreet as possible. Recently the iPhone has been a great tool for capturing fleeting moments or movements too quick for pencil and paper. Over the years I've gathered a large collection of images, which are later used as reference to compose into artwork in the studio. The smallest gesture or character can be the starting point for a painting or bas-relief.
As a visual story-telling artist I try to capture an essence of the rapidly changing city. Since 1994, many of my favourite vendors, backstreet hairdressers, hawker stalls and dai pai dongs (outside eating places) have disappeared. I'm constantly aware of the never-ending cycles of the working masses and energy of the city; trolleys piled high with produce or old lap sap (rubbish), men in suits rushing off to work, helpers getting children to school; the many silent voices and invisible hands that are the life force and backbone that keeps the city functioning.
I'm often drawn to densely crowded urban scenes. By pausing to sketch and hone into the minutiae is my way of connecting with the peculiarities and humour of everyday life amongst the mayhem and rat race. Taking time to observe the world can be both life affirming and heart breaking. Hopefully people who see my artwork will be able to relate to the places and characters that have inspired, moved and tickled me during my life so far.