Hong Kong Spirit: Red-White-Blue

Hermes Stanley Wong RWB1_newSingapore, October 2013 – As soon as I stepped inside Stanley Wong’s exhibition, Show Flat 04 sponsored by Fondation D’Entreprise Hermès in Singapore, I immediately felt I made a connection with the artist.

Being a Hong Kong-native myself, the red-white-blue (“rwb”) canvas material, which enveloped the art space, was broadly used in Hong Kong from its industrial boom in the 1970s until today. Show Flat 04 instilled a strong sense of nostalgia in me. Simple medium but what a powerful concept!

Hermes Stanley Wong RWB2_new

Who is Stanley Wong (a.k.a. anothermountainman)?

“He uses red-white-blue in art and design, depicting the positive spirit of Hong Kong. People named him as Mr. red-white-blue or father of red-white-blue. He is a leading artist in Hong Kong. His affection for his birthplace is strongly reflected in his art. Many of his artworks have been selected as permanent collections at local and international museums. He contributes the rest of his life to design education.” (source: http://rwb330.hk)

Artist’s view on rwb:

“Red-White-Blue fabric, first appeared in the 1960s,
was used as a cladding for the scaffolding at building sites.
It was durable and waterproof, therefore,
it was later used for producing plastic bags. Though red-white-blue fabric is generally considered to be tawdry,
 it is a metaphor for the spirit of Hong Kong from Stanley’s point of view:

red-white-blue 
is existence, participation, 
devotion and commitment.

red-white-blue
 is perseverance, diligence and
endurance.

red-white-blue
 likes the Hong Kong people of 1960s and
1970s…

The most important thing is that our 
Hong Kong family
 should remain unchanged for 50 years:
 keep positive, keep going.”

(source: http://rwb330.hk)

But wait a minute now – red-white-blue stretches beyond the boundaries of Hong Kong…it could represent easily a handful of other countries, if you were thinking about flag colors. For instance, France, U.S.A., United Kingdom to name a few. The artist challenges us in the second room with a question, “Whose home is this?”

Hermes Stanley Wong RWB3_new

Anothermountainman has exhibited internationally and represented Hong Kong in the 51st Venice Biennale (2005). His other selected exhibitions include the 1st Shenzhen Biennale of Urbaism/Architecture (OCAT, 2005), the Hong Kong Art Biennale (2003/1999) and Shanghai International Poster Exhibition (Shanghai Art Museum, 1999).

All photos were taken by Mrs. King.

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