While studying Fine Art at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, artist Stephen Wong Chun Hei was inspired by the concept of the “Dream Journey” in Chinese landscape painting, in which a person experiences the feeling of travel by looking at a landscape painting from the comfort of their own home. Before the pandemic, Hei would regularly hike in the green spaces surrounding Hong Kong. He would bring various painting tools—acrylic paints, watercolors, sometimes just a pen for sketching—and capture the scenery in front of him by hand before returning to his studio and recreating the scene from memory.
The resemblance is not important to him—he is more interested in interpreting what he sees through filter of his own experience. “The painting process is another journey to me, both the composition and colour tones are subjective,” he explains. “Usually I could remember some places along the trail, but some I would forget, so I use imagination to fill in the blank.” In the current age of uncertainty and restricted travel, Hei relies on his imagination and creativity to experience the richness of life. “Now I treasure every moment to look and experience, and I will continue to work on painting based on the actual life and finish it beyond that,” he explains.
See more from Stephen Wong Chun Hei below!