Dominique Chan

Kat O (吉澳)

  “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!”

「我係一個住喺吉澳嘅藝術家,呢度都算係香港嘅邊界,係其中一個最偏遠嘅島嶼。呢度嘅居民唔超過50人,我係唯一一個外國人!我50年前喺阿姆斯特丹識咗我太太 Gloria,我哋四年前搬咗嚟吉澳,因為佢係呢度原居民。佢嗰時喺唐人街一間餐館打工,我就去食嘢同埋為佢畫肖像。我間屋好容易認到,因為我係唯一一間由上至下都畫滿壁畫同埋鮮艷顏色嘅屋。我好鍾意住喺呢個島仔,好寧靜好舒服,比起歐洲又濕又凍嘅天氣,真係好好多!我太太同我一手一腳搭建咗呢個花園,啲石仔係喺附近嘅沙灘搬過嚟嘅。我哋仲有種檸檬樹、碌柚樹、蕃茄同埋雞蛋花,仲有一隻好得意但係好怕羞嘅貓。有時啲野豬會嚟我哋個花園,甚至有蛇,你會見到佢哋有時出現喺我嘅作品㗎!我鍾意喺郊野行吓,收集木頭同埋石頭用嚟做作品,可以做雕塑啦、木刻甚至係自己油顏色嘅行山杖!」 

“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! ”


 「終於我喺19歲嘅時候入咗阿姆斯特丹一間藝術學校。五年嘅課程入面,我冇一日走過堂。開頭我一句荷蘭話都唔識講,所以係好困難嘅,但係我堅持,慢慢都學識咗講。我嗰時知道自己想以藝術為事業。我會從波納爾、畢加索、梵高、高更⋯⋯嘅作品度攞靈感,但有時我創作緊嘅時候,我只係會順住自己嘅感覺去,由得啲顏色同埋筆觸自由咁流動。其他時候我會喺日常生活度攞靈感,日常嘅小事呀、大自然、人呀、我太太⋯⋯甚至係我隻貓!我今年72歲,但係心入面仲係好年輕。好開心可以每日創作! 」


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