Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Hong Kong - Autumn 2015

This trip is to be our first tentative venture into Asia with oil paint. I’ve travelled to Japan, Vietnam and Hong Kong previously but as a tourist, not with the means to produce a serious body of work.
Our biggest painting trip previously was the two months in the US in 2013 which was part-funded through a Kickstarter campaign. This Hong Kong trip is completely self-funded although since announcing our intentions a positive relationship has begun with Manchester Airport and Cathay Pacific.
It’s coming up to the first anniversary of direct flights starting from Manchester to Hong Kong which is great for both cities with Manchester having the third largest Chinatown in Europe and significant Chinese investment in Manchester Airport City.

Our flight with Cathay Pacific was smooth and comfortable despite the best efforts of tropical storm Mujigae which was in full swing when we descended and for the first few days of being here. We had planned to dodge typhoon season which normally finishes in September but we caught the tail end.
It was actually fascinating to experience such torrential rain and gave me confidence in painting in such conditions in the future.

The streets looked incredible wet though there’s plenty of public covered space. It’s often the case that as an outdoor painter you assume you can’t work in what seems at first glance challenging conditions when the reality is relatively comfortable. Last winter was spent painting in a wet Manchester which produced some great results.
I’ve noticed some street workers were wearing umbrella hats which might allow work in bad weather conditions whilst keeping your hands free... hmmmmm...

We have found two different apartments to rent for our Hong Kong stay. I am hoping that they will capture two different sides to the city. Our first ten days will be spent in Mong Kok in the western point of the Kowloon Peninsula.
The remainder of the month will be spent in Soho on Hong Kong central. We have tried to select apartments that are not only in great locations but that have good enough views to provide subject matter from the moment we arrive. We have high hopes for the Soho apartment with exclusive roof access in an old Chinese building (although we’re on the 15th floor with no elevator) The Mong Kok apartment couldn’t be better, we are on the 27th floor with a glass corner window that gives a spectacular unobstructed panorama of the whole of Kowloon and glimpses of Hong Kong Central Island in the distance.