60 Years of Artistry - Connie's Story
1958 – I started painting at age 12. In those days, not many people could afford having a hobby. Yet my father enthusiastically helped me develop my artistic instinct by asking a friend, Mr. Wong Man Bo, to teach me to draw. Through Mr. Wong’s help, I was fortunate to study under the famous watercolors master, Mr. Kan Mei Tin, in 1960. For one year, I was sketching black and white, glassware, newspapers, pottery ware, old shoes, vegetables, etc. What most people considered dull and tasteless black and white drawings, in fact helped me build a very solid foundation for my art work later.
1968 – Through the help of Mr. Tsang Chi Lau, my friend as well as my teacher, I became a student of Lingnan Master Yang Sang Sun. This was the start of my Chinese Painting journey.
Like others, I had to work for a living. While working as a secretary, my boss told me, “Without a diploma, you will never be in management positions.” I took the words seriously and started evening studies. I earned many diplomas: Personnel Management, Public Affairs, Training Management, and many extracurricular certificates. I also achieved qualified titles: International Facilities Manager, Chartered Institute of Marketing Management. Job wise, I was promoted to management positions, overseeing facilities throughout Asia including Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing. Due to frequent business travels, my attendance at Master Yang’s studio became less frequent. Once Master Yang said to me, “Why don’t you stop working and concentrate on painting? You can live on painting one day.” Unfortunately, that was impossible.
I am persistent by nature and this character trait drove me to pursue my goals in everything I desired. I did not stop painting and during my business trips, I would sketch – in the air, on cruisers, on holidays. Another characteristic is that I have not discarded any piece of painting during all my years of painting. My belief is that no painting is beyond improvement, and I can always improve. That is what I teach my students. Well, 60 years of accumulation of those “pending” paintings are becoming too many. Maybe it is time to screen out some of them.
1998 – I held my first solo painting exhibition . Ten years later, in 2008, I held my second solo show. To date, I have held nine solo art shows. My first overseas solo exhibition, in 2009, was at the invitation of the Cambridge University Press; other international solo exhibitions included San Diego, United States, Vancouver, Canada, and Guangzhou and Fo Shan in China. Compliments from spectators and collectors encouraged me to continue. With the support and encouragement of friends, family and artist friends, much effort was placed in developing my own unique form and style.
2018 marks the 60th anniversary of my artistic journey. After waiting for months for the permit, I finally secured a spacious venue for three days at the Hong Kong Central Library to host my tenth solo exhibition. This will be a reminiscence of the past 60 years of my art and taking a bold step forward to future endeavors. I am working hard on this exhibition and I hope to see you November 28-30, 2018 at the Hong Kong Central Library.