If love has a colour, what would it be?
Red, like fire? Or white, for purity? Love, in the eyes of emerging Hong Kong illustrator Pei Chung, is the fusion of pink and yellow — a combination of sweetness and warmth that encapsulates the most beautiful shades of love.
Pei Chung is best-known for his watercolour works that capture his internal turmoil and views of the world. Unveiling his latest series on Love, an exclusive exhibition for LOG-ON, the artist captured the many shades of romance through a dreamy palette. Pei Chung’s ‘The Glow of Love’ exhibition is open until 17 March in LOG-ON ToGather Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay.
Young local illustrator, Pei Chung, has amassed a huge following online and has collaborated with top fashion labels at a young age.
‘The Glow of Love’ depicts love in its many forms and shapes.
Pink: The Dreamy Planet of Love
“Pink, the colour of being in love, is heartwarming and dreamy.”
Before we met Pei Chung, one would easily mistake his art for a young woman’s work because of their colours, intimacy and subject. Tall and slender, Pei Chung exudes genuine warmth and humility — qualities that are evident in his work. His characters, composed of delicate brushwork and fine lines, are often placed in whimsical, dream-like fantasies that are intriguingly comforting and cathartic.
The exhibition is covered in shades of pink, which according to the artist, captures what falling in love should ‘look and feel’ like. ‘The Pink Planet’, the centrepiece of the exhibition, is symbolic of the best moments in a relationship. “Love is bittersweet, even sour and bitter at times. These feelings are ubiquitous for enamoured couples as well as those who have fallen out of love. I want us to always remember the good”, Pei Chung explained.
The bubbles surrounding the pink planet are a common feature in Pei Chung’s work. To him, the fragile bubbles epitomise the beautiful yet fleeting nature of love.
‘Lemon Iced Tea’ is Pei Chung’s personal favourite in the ongoing exhibition
Yellow: The Small Details of Love
“Small relationship gestures and trivialities are uplifting. It’s the little things that make falling in love such a wonderful thing.”
When asked about his favourite piece, Pei Chung immediately picked ‘Lemon Iced Tea’ displayed by the entrance. Depicted in a three-act structure, Pei Chung painted a fond memory of sipping lemon iced tea with his loved one. The iced tea arrived at the table, and without a word, his lover who sat opposite him took the tea and started ‘poking’ the lemon slices. Lemon iced tea with super-sour flavour is Pei Chung’s favourite drink, and seeing that his loved one cared so much about him warmed his heart.
Pei Chung loves to pair pink with yellow and shared his thought with us, “Yellow is a warm colour, and along with pink, they symbolise a caring and loving guy.” Most of the artist’s works feature flamboyant yet vague backgrounds that illustrate the state of mind when one’s in love — you simply can’t think straight or function normally!
The ‘darker’ section of the exhibition features intense shades of blue and black, in striking contrast to the pink series that symbolises true love.
Blue: The Dark Side of Relationships
“Being hurt and intense sadness often fuel my creativity.”
The dark shades seem oddly out of place in the sea of pink. Blue, however, is often used by the artist to convey darkness (blue is a cold colour) and mystery. The blue and black series reexamine love and public perceptions of the subject. Pei Chung challenges conventions by painting about secret underground relationships, cheating and betrayal, and sugar-coated homophobia.
Social pressure put a strain even on the most loving relationship. According to Pei Chung, it’s daunting to date in Hong Kong and trying to fit into socially-accepted boxes. In one of his works paints the all-too-familiar story of a long-term couple who fell madly in love with one another — their love was white and pure at the time — but all that changed when they grew up and felt increasingly boxed in by society and people around them. Their relationship became complicated and unfathomable.
By now you might ask, is Pei Chung an expert on love? The artist chuckled and admitted he has only dated twice, but he has had his fair share of heartbreak. The catch is, though, each time an old wound gets reopened, it comes with inspiration for his work. So perhaps it’s not too bad for an artist to experience bad love?
Expect the Unexpected with Watercolour
“Watercolour is mesmerising because of its unpredictable character. It’s dreamy and grounding at the same time.”
Pei Chung has been an avid painter since a young age. He found watercolour in high school and it has, since, become his way of expression. Water and colours are his tools, Pei Chung reinvents everyday stories with his paintbrush. His works are distinctive for their dry and crisp brushstrokes, a contrary to the wishy-washy watercolour paintings we are accustomed to. Another technique that Pei Chung uses to create his fantastical backgrounds is wet-on-wet, where he applies colours onto a wet surface. The artist often paints on coarse paper that adds texture to his work.
Pei Chung pinned his work on display panels to share his view on love — something so monumental that is equally fragile and evanescent.
‘The Glove of Love’ Exhibition by Pei Chung
Date: 17 January to 17 March 2019
Venue: LOG-ON ToGather Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay