Exploring the possibility of different materials through storytelling is one of Chan Pui Sze (Betsy)’s artistic intentions. She combined illustration with different craft and techniques in her works, such as glass, ceramics, embroidery and paper cut in order to enrich the texture of different stories. Her previous works led her to explore different media by pushing the boundary between craft and illustration, and she looks to explore more in both abstract and narrative ways in her future practice.
Betsy often gets inspiration from memory, daily experience and literature and she keen on using surreal composition in both illustration and printmaking works. She selects symbols and objects from her memory or text and rearranges irrelevant objects to construct a new composition. By combining symbols and her own emotion into her work, she creates a poetic atmosphere that gives more space for viewers to imagine beyond the boundaries of texts. She likes surreal and poetic elements, such as flames burning in the rain, flowing river in the sky, transforming smoke, and so on. For her, they have their own symbolic meanings and emotions, and the audience will have their own interpretations.
當我的回憶呼喚你 When My Memory Calls You
Acrylic on blown glass
Combing blown glass together with illustration, my childhood memories of the old district in Hong Kong is recorded. Glass blowing is a process to create space, so a new space to contain old memories is built through blowing glass. Keeping my breath inside the glass, I believe that my existence and memories will remain even though the old stores and buildings will eventually disappear in this narrow city.
偷光的人 The Light Stealer
Laser cut on paper with book binding
Combing paper cuts with illustration, I made a laser-cut illustration storybook about a thief who stole all the light of the world including northern lights, fireflies, fireworks as well as the wishes of the Lantern Festival. The world become darker and darker, and the light stealer eventually releases all the light and the world became bright again. Light symbolizes hope and the beautiful things in the world while the light stealer represents the darkness in our mind, I hope to convey a sense of hope and positive feeling to the readers. Using the technique of laser-cutting, it creates layers of the story’s scenes and enable reader to have a three-dimensional experience.
旅行雜貨店 The Traveler Store
A story with series of illustrations that is about memory and travel is created. My travel experience and my memory of grandmother is fused into this work.Many repeated symbolic imagery and objects are used in this series of work, such as rain, water, smoke ,and the cow skull which symbolize death. I keen on combining irrelevant objects together to get an unexpected composition and poetic feeling.
嫲嫲與燒脾瀨粉 Grandma and the Grilled Chicken Noodles
Japanese woodblock print
My printmaking works are usually developed from my illustration practice, some symbolic elements are also used in these two works such as water and rain. These works were created based on my memories of grandmother, with our favorite food in daily life. The objects create surreal feeling in the arrangement of composition, this show my memory and my emotion towards my grandmother.
垃圾 Let It All Go
This series of illustrations were inspired by the lyric of a song which is about the beauty of decadent. I first grab the objects and images from the lyric and reassemble them to construct a surreal composition. By using a surreal composition, I hope to give more imagination space is given to the viewer beyond the text.