The collection of images in my ‘Hong Kong Blur’ series brings together years of obsessive study of street photographers, from originators like Cartier-Bresson to contemporaries like Boogie, and presents the images in my own aesthetic style. Drawing on my educational background in Applied Photography and my professional experience as an advertising and editorial Illustrator, I developed a style that maintains the gesture of the moment captured, but adds colour, blurring, and outlined and edged brushstrokes to the often flat, wide-aspect photos that come out of camera from a cell phone.
The digital paintings of ‘Hong Kong Blur’ are a hybrid, an original juxtaposition of photorealism and the imagined, expressionistic world of a painter’s mind’s eye. The images of Hong Kong evoke an urban beauty and lingering colonial sentiment and nostalgia that was felt in the moment, even if it was not actually present in the natural lighting or setting of the scene.
These 18 images were selected from a larger selection of 72 digital paintings, which I have been working on for the last year, after spending 3 months travelling around China and Hong Kong in 2018. During the trip, I took thousands of photos, focusing on the mundane, and the quotidian aspects of daily life, drawing inspiration from photographers Stephen Shore and Martin Parr for the subject matter of the everyday, and painters Eric Fischl and Gerhard Richter, for their use of blurring and smearing, and intentional manipulations of reality.
The series conveys the gesture and nuance of a city that is both real and imagined, the infinite possibility of each fleeting moment and personal geography. The streaks and blurs of colour and memories left by both the architectural and human aspects of Hong Kong, and the faceless, anonymous dreamed aspects of the city, a palimpsest of histories and peoples criss-crossing each other and time and leaving a palimpsest of memories accrued in the endless alleyways and slopes of the streets of Hong Kong.
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As always, all artworks on this page are available for purchase from the artist.