Interview with Yat-Nga Noel Wong
Yat-Nga Noel Wong is a Hong Kong based Artist who experiments with different themes, techniques and media. Her work is a constant extension of herself, her beliefs and convictions. Obsessed with bubbles and spherical shapes, she uses this motif to further understand the world around her.
Hello, It’s a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for taking the time to share your work with us. I love timeless quality of your photographs, when did you first discover your love for photography?
Thank you. I realized it when I was having a break after leaving my job. I took my camera (which was from a lucky draw) outdoors daily, hoping to capture something special around the city. While at home, I took photos of objects which could be made fun of, and experimented with my camera too, like covering the flash with my hands partially to change the color of the flash. The camera would say that I was being very mean but it was only then that I realized how much I enjoyed it. And how much I enjoy creating stuffs and spin things around. Many people call such a jobless period an empty period but it changed me so much, when I look back now.
Are there any Artists or Photographers that have influenced the way your work has evolved?
Matisse and Picasso showed me the fun elements. I’m not sure how far the influences have gone.. in the subconscious level.
Work of the contemporary artists shown below left some footprints in my heart forever:
Jos Van Riswick (contemporary artist who focuses on still life paintings, simplicity), Michael Wolf (photographer), Jason de Graaf (an artist who is into painting metal/glass balls) and Ambera Wellmann (an artist who is into painting clouds).
I was very timid and insecure about the works I create. Their work convinced me. I just let my heart run wild and created things I desired. I can’t explain how much I enjoy this freedom to create anything I like. I only paint objects that I admire or appreciate. Without this passion for the object, I don’t think I can paint well.
You are very passionate about animal rights, could you tell us a little more about it and how it influences your work?
My friendships with hamsters and a chinchilla taught me that animals do have feelings and thoughts. Knowing the plights many other species are stuck in due to humans, my heart wants to do something. Why some people are so ruthless towards both animals and certain humans. Some of my work speaks up for these innocent beings. This brings some meaning to creating stuffs. We need more kindness. We need more light. This belief affects my work a lot. I like creating art which are ”smiling”. I believe in the unseen strength/power of kindness. It goes a long way.
Many of your recent works are focused on spheres and bubble-like forms. What is it that fascinates you with this particular shape?
This inexplicable passion stemmed from childhood or even before that. Spherical things catch my attention naturally. It was the first vocab I learned. This is the most beautiful, complete shape on earth.
You also love to Paint and Draw. Is there an underlying link between your different styles? Or do you see them as separate?
Sunlight has this magical power that can make everything look prettier. I like to use a camera to capture it but sometimes I come across something intriguing by nature (like, an extraordinarily good looking cherry), I would paint, hoping to capture the special light shining from it. Sometimes I doubt that the fruit actually knows that it is admired.
One cherry managed to stay in good shape for 2 weeks after being taken from work, as if it was happy being appreciated and complimented. (Do you think it’s possible scientifically?)
I draw if some images form themselves in my head somehow. I like to get them on paper. I might rework afterwards if some ideas hit me afterwards. I do like to see my work grow/evolve like plants.
You are always developing and improving your skills and have recently been engaging in Drawing classes. How do you find working in that kind of environment?
I love creating stuffs the most, for the time being.
Is there a piece of work that you are particularly proud of and could you tell us about it?
A drawing of ferris wheel about sex. I like the portrayal of adults elements in a childish, colorful manner. And sex is like an amusement park for adults.
What Are you working on At the moment? Is there any new work being planned?
I’m working on the drawing of a crab who wish to become a doggy; a flying swing which is a skirt. I have in mind a piece with red cabbage. I couldn’t forget its cross section after I first saw it. Hmmm.. definitely will experiment with resin. Transparent things are very pretty under the sun…
What are your plans for the future? Are there any goals you want to aspire to?
I will keep creating. It’s what I enjoy the most. It’s an era for us to go back to the simple things. (Joy should not be expensive!) I like my current “no external strings attached” relationship with art. If I earn a living by creating, the freedom in creation won’t be “absolute freedom” anymore, but “apparent freedom”.
Is there anything you would like to add or talk about?
I’ve never gone to art school so it is a bit weird with the word ”artist”. It’s like a word for the art masters or someone superb in it. I’m just a being who enjoys creating hee hee. Maybe there is a word in the dictionary for describing this type of people.