Lie Fhung

Added 9th Jun `20

What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Lie Fhung - but you can call me Fhung, which is my first name. It is a Chinese name, but I was born and grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia - so my mother tongue is Indonesian. And admitedly, my Chinese and Cantonese are insufficient πŸ˜†. (Notes: Not ‘Bahasa’. Bahasa means language. So it is either ‘Bahasa Indonesia’ or simply ‘Indonesian’. I feel the need to explain this as I came across so many foreigners misunderstand this, they would refer to Indonesian language as just ‘Bahasa’ πŸ™ˆ).

I am an artist and designer, who currently works as Art Director for TheBookshop at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. I take care of anything related to aesthetics and graphic design - both digital and printed matters, along with some writing. So things like display signages, advertising materials, social media posting, newsletters, etc. I designed, built and maintain the website and the online shop. I also help with selecting makers and art merchandise to feature in TheBookshop. At TheBookshop, we promote art and handmade appreciation, especially those created by local artisans and designers, including a few overseas makers who reside in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is more than just a big commercial city, it has a lot more heart-warming treasures to offer. As our motto “books. art. create.” suggests, we wish to inspire and nurture the questioning minds; to open up your world.

To that end, I am also involved in developing and running our educational programme at TheBookshop such as writer’s talks, makers’ dialogues and SketchingSaturday. An avid reader, I help in selecting books to carry at the shop as well. It’s a lot to do, but it’s rewarding to see how people enjoy and appreciate it all. Especially when you have nice colleagues to work together with! ☺️

Tell us a bit more about your art and what inspires you?

Art making is my way to contemplate and to bear witness to personal stories. Nature and intimate matters of being human: hidden layers within our dreams, memories, bodies (especially female’s), psychology and drives. These inspired my work, and I hope, in turn, my works will inspire others. 

I simply love, and need, to create; be it with my hands or with my Mac. I love exploring various materials that catch my imagination - I don’t limit myself to what kind of art, design or craft I make. I am just following the inspirations, fleshing out my artistic visions using whatever materials or methods they demand. I have been working with porcelain, paint, metal, fabric, leather, and digital prints, which are often presented in the form of installations. I also enjoy making jewellery and leather crafts. My works of art have been shown in art exhibitions in Hong Kong and also abroad. It is nice when people are touched by them.  ‘flight', one of my porcelain installations, is in permanent collection of World Ceramic Exposition Foundation in Korea. My work ‘Life Force - Spark’ won Silver Award from UOB Art Academy in 2015. 

Ethnic minorities comprise a large population here in HK, what improvements would you like to see?

My concerns in this regard is mainly on the rights of migrant workers, specifically domestic helpers who are denied Hong Kong Permanent Resident status despite having been living and working in Hong Kong for more than 7 years. This is simply unfair. While their skills might be considered simple, their role in Hong Kong economy should not be discounted. Without them, many working parents wouldn’t have been able to cope and might have no choice but to stay home in order to take care of their children. I believe they should be entitled to permanent residency same as other foreign nationals who have been living in Hong Kong for more than 7 years. 

How would your Pangyaos describe you?

My friends told me that I bring out good positive energy. That I am kind, fun and very creative. πŸ€—

Any advice for budding artists?

Be true to your inner voice. Go with what felt natural to you. Don’t stunt your growth by limiting what you ‘should’ create. Explore. Embrace changes. And work hard. But don’t forget to play and just do nothing from time to time!