How are the colours done?
Our method of drawing is actually an imitation of an ancient Chinese painting technique, and as such it’s extremely delicate and we tend to rush through it rather than letting it settle and smooth. It’s not like we use a paintbrush on the actual drawing; rather it is the result of careful manipulation by our artist. There are two different styles, one where we paint a flat black, and another one where we try to mimic the texture of real Chinese paper.
What is the process the artists go through to develop their original impression? How does the final product differ from sketches they did on paper?
The artists use their hands to develop the illusion of an elaborate drawing. For each specific scene, they will try several different ways and create that illusion. The final drawing is usually drawn on paper, and at the same time we have created the illusion of being able to see the lines with our own eyes when it’s a real sketch to start with.
We only use real paper, with some ink and a brush, to ensure accuracy. Even though we are artists, we don’t always make everything right. At the end of the day the only thing we can control is our imagination. It’s very important to remember this when trying to draw a real drawing.
Can you give us an example of such an illusion?
For example, when we were illustrating a certain place, we had already found some interesting buildings in the real world. So at that point we created a picture of a house which has some interesting details, and then we tried to recreate it on paper using a brush, or a stylus on paper. In order to simulate the feeling of feeling real this time around, we took the idea of trying to imitate and recreate the feeling of being in Hong Kong’s old colonial era neighbourhoods.
Can you give us more examples of the “fantasy of the real”? Can you say for example that what you have drawn is a real object in Hong Kong?
Of course we can only draw fantasy; we can’t actually create it. What we draw is based purely on our imaginations and this isn’t something that’s a dream.
As a new parent, there’s a part of me that will say, “But it took you so long to get that one, didn’t it?” And then I would look them right in the eye and ask, “What in the hell are you talking about? You didn’t have a baby with a girl
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