As Hong Kong and its people are enjoying modernization and dramatic development, local artists have harder time to survive and keep on their professional career. Mak Wing is one of a very few remaining Chinese folk artists in Hong Kong, who is struggling to keep on his professional works in the developed world.
A 60-year-old folk artist has spent most of his lifetime producing and preserving traditional Chinese art. He started his life as an artist as an apprentice with an artist teacher from Guangzhou in In 1970.
“I was born in a traditional folk art family. My family’s elder generations had strong connections with art. My mother was a traditional needleworker. She also created lanterns during autumn festival. I was exposed to Chinese traditional arts since I was a child.”
Mr. Mak has never had a permanent job; he must simply wait to be hired. He takes any job to survive as a professional artist in the developed world. He is an art teacher, a painter, a wall-painter, and a restorer of old folk art and statues. Now, he works part-time at a catholic school to restore the old painting and teach students. He is happy to pass his professionalism to young students.
“I achieved my goal by teaching art and painting at school. My friends, who were apprentices, ended their art lives at the level of painting. They made copies of arts and sold them to make money and spent it all. They did not have a goal to keep on doing creative art. For me, the goal is ambition you can achieve it.”
To Mr. Mak, art is a very meaningful way that he can express his emotions to an audience. It makes him happy and gives him a feeling of satisfaction.
“Today, you may feel difficult, but if you achieve it, you will be satisfied because you are creating your own artwork and your students will have their own [achievements] too. The satisfaction of this is beyond our anything I could describe.