“I am an artist based in Kat O, which is pretty much at the edge of Hong Kong and one of the most remote islands. There are fewer than 50 residents here and I am the only foreigner! I met my wife, Gloria, over 50 years ago in Amsterdam and moved to Kat O four years ago because she is originally from here. She was working at a restaurant in Chinatown and I would go for meals and make drawings of her. People will easily recognise where I live because my house is the only one that’s painted from top to bottom with wall murals and bright colours. I really enjoy living on the island - it’s so peaceful and quiet - much better than the wet and cold in Europe! My wife and I built our garden from scratch, with rocks that I collected from the nearby beaches. We also have lemon trees, pomelo trees, tomatoes, frangipane…and a cute but very shy cat. Occasionally we have wild boars roaming around our garden and even snakes - which you will sometimes see appear in my artwork! I like to go for walks in nature and collect wood and stones for my artwork - you can do sculptures, wood carvings or even hand-painted walking poles!”
“I grew up in Brittany and started making art when I was just around 7 years old. As a kid, I would always be drawing, doodling and carving all sorts of things out of wood. My mother was from Brittany and my father from Wenzhou, China. Back then, a lot of Chinese people migrated to Marseille to start a new life there. When I was just 7 years old, I lost my mother to tuberculosis. My four siblings and I were separated from young and put into different foster homes. It was a difficult time but I kept creating and making art; I was also very lucky to have a foster family that looked after me really well. I knew I wanted to go to art school eventually, but it was impossible at the time because it was just too expensive. So I kept making art and spent some time on the streets of Paris sketching people. Being an artist is great because you can travel anywhere to work!”
“I finally got into art school in Amsterdam when I was 19. In the five years of art school, I didn’t miss a single day of class. I didn’t speak a word of Dutch at the time so it was challenging at first, but I persevered and gradually picked up the language. I knew that I wanted to make a career out of art. I take inspiration from Bonnard, Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin…but sometimes when I create art I just go with my feeling and allow the colours and strokes to flow fluidly. Other times I take inspiration from everyday events, nature, people, my wife…and even my cat! I am 72 years old but am still very much young at heart. I’m also happy to be able to make art every day! ”
Get in touch to sponsor a story or crowdfund a storytelling campaign!