HK Paintings

“Handover Party 1997”. Acrylic on 41 cms circular wooden board 2011

The Handover of Hong Kong in 1997 of British rule back to China was another excuse for parties all over town. Above image is from the then Regent Hotel, where every floor was lavish with food & people dressed in Chinese English outfits. The waiters started the evening in Union Jack jackets that after midnight were reversed into the red & yellow starred Chinese flag. The lady in red with the sparkly dress was in the queue waiting to use the bathroom, I moved her to walk past the leering man smoking a cigar holding two glasses of red wine, behind his trail of cigar smoke is a guy dribbling the juice from his oyster

Tai Tai's black bgnd
“Tai Tai’s”. Acrylic on 41 cms circular wooden board 2011

Tai Tais are a favourite subject of mine, I adore the Tang dynasty figurines of the affluent large women of their day. They have featured in a lot of my images & sculptures, I have tried to make my own modern version. These two ladies if it was real would have been at an art preview. The word “Tai Tai” in Chinese is the word for wife or directly translates into big big or too much… though modern day Tai-Tais are a lot skinnier, the woman on the right is taken from images in HK glossy magazines, the society sections with all the little squares of the glamourous people, one of my greatest sources for reference material!

Mini bus driver black
“Route 31 minibus”. Acrylic on 41 cms circular wooden board 2011

The mini bus system in Hong Kong is such a quick way of getting around the number 31 is one of my regular routes though I always try to sit near the driver as they dont have a bell so you have to shout out when you want them to stop & I always feel too self conscious hearing my “Gweilo” foreign voice yelling “neeedoo mmgoy” or next stop please! So this painting above is the view from his large rear mirror. The tissue box attached above the driver is the latest tulip design from my local ‘Parkin’ Shop’ store when I made the painting.

“Opera”. Acrylic on 41 cms circular wooden board 2011

Chinese Opera. The painting above was from a classical concert at Government house pre handover I sat behind the woman with the perfectly groomed hair with the two big combs that were slowly falling out but she didn’t seem to notice. Often I go back to old sketch books & collage together different images to tell a story, the Chinese Opera singer & the two Chinese women near the performer were taken years later but they seemed to work well together.

“Hairdresser”. Acrylic on 41 cms circular wooden board 2011

Visiting the hairdresser seems to be another regular part of my life & a great place to sit & sketch. I like to try out the small hairdressing salons all over HK where you can get a head massage while still sitting in your seat as they lather the shampoo into your scalp. There are some fairly strange perming devices attached to curly telephone wires suspended from the ceiling. I’m symbolically the ageing woman on the left, with the protective plastic ear covers having my “roots done” not that I would choose orange but it seemed to work well with the Warhol like heads on the gown of the young woman having her ends trimmed!