Take 5 with... Visual Artist Mateusz Kołek!
WELCOME TO WOMB'S WEEKLY "TAKE 5 WITH..." SERIES. USUALLY THESE POSTS FEATURE A SHORT INTERVIEW WITH A HK-BASED CONSCIOUS PERSONALITY.
THIS WEEK WE TAKE A TWIST ON IT AND PRESENT TO YOU HONG KONG THROUGH THE LENSE OF A CREATIVE OUTSIDER: VISUAL ARTIST MATEUSZ KOŁEK!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from, where did you study, and what brings you to Hong Kong?
I'm Cracow/Poland based illustrator/freelancer. I moved there 18 years ago for History of Art studies. This is my 3rd time in HK but this time I'm here with my first solo show in the city. The other reason for why I’m in Hong Kong now is a new fashion collection by my girlfriend Pat Guzik. We collaborated a bit with fabrics, prints and such. She brought the collection here for CentreStage Fashion Show, and we're both very curious how Hong Kong will find it.
2. When did you first come to Hong Kong, and what stunned / shocked you most about the city?
My first time was exactly two years ago after Pat's won Redress Design Award and we moved here for 4 months. It was my dream for a long, long time to come to HK so you can imagine how stunned I was when I heard that the first price was to design a capsule collection for Shanghai Tang. That meant moving to HK.
It was even more that I imagined after watching Wang Kar Wai's movies. I love how complex and contrasted the city is. Here the past and the future are living next to each other. I mean you can see a traditional shop with a tortoise jelly and a banker walking out of 100 story building for eating it.
3. What is creativity to you?
It's the way of dealing with reality. You live, you see/feel/taste, you're trying to make something new out of it.
4. What are your thoughts on Hong Kong’s art scene?
After those 4 months two years ago I though that there is a lot of commercial galleries here but like indie art scene isn't as big as I though it could be in a city as big as Hong Kong. Now I know I wasn't looking hard enough. I follow a lot of young artists based in HK on Instagram. Their stuff is great. I wish I had found them 2 years ago.
5. What’s next for you? What interesting projects are you working on?
Well I always keep myself occupied with a lot of commissioned work like book covers, murals, comics, posters but I hope this year will be a bit different. Doing my first solo show ever in HK is a start. Will see what comes out of it.
The other thing is that for the first time I'm working on a long series of illustrations. It's called "The things I've seen but I didn't have a smartphone" and it's heavily influenced by those 4 months in Hong Kong and another 3 in Chongqing. I want to show it in Poland and maybe in Hong Kong next year. Will see...