„You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you”
- Nury Vittachi, Hong Kong: The City of Dreams
Writing one’s first blog entry is probably one of the most difficult tasks. I’ve been thinking for a long time what to begin with and I decided that perhaps I should start with describing the place which influenced me the most, became the source of inspiration and the beginning of a new way in my life.
Hong Kong After raising kids I had a long break in my career. I devoted myself to running the house and taking care of children. Several years later I wanted to start working again and attempted to create my own fashion brand – unfortunately, without success. I felt a little lost afterwards. During following years I took part in several projects. One of tchem involved travelling to Asia. This period of time gave me a lot of answers to personal questions and it so happened, that my way to myself began in the most unexpected place – Hong Kong.
Flying there for the first time I felt fear and I imagined plenty of strange things. I knew that one can either truly love or hate Hong Kong. I loved this city from the first sight. The feeling was so strong that when I was sitting in a plane on my way back to Poland, I listened to Frank Sinatra and had to stop myself from crying. But I felt, however, that I would come back many times.
My memories from Hong Kong are mainly colors and contrasts. On my daily way to work I stopped on one of pedestrian crossings high above the streets and I watched cars passing below me, musicians in the streets, colorful mob of hurrying people, all going in different directions. I felt the smell of the street (not always nice;), I looked at the green parts o the city and the city itself pulsing with life. Standing like this and holding my coffee from the chinese Starbucks I knew that I could watch it for hours losing my sense of time. It was a regular day in Hong Kong and for me it was inspiring experience. In Hong Kong I felt creative and filled with energy, my mind was opening and worked on top speed. I felt that everything was possible. For me Hong Kong is one big inspiration. I knew that there was a lot more to discover, so I wanted to see a new street, new district, new place or anything new every time I returned. I wanted to expand my own map of Hong Kong.
Hotels and art… Travelling to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Xiamen I stayed in Langham hotels. Langham Hotels (http://www.langhamhotels.com/en/) is a chain of luxurious hotels with its history reaching 1865 when the first hotel was opened in London. Presently Langham hotels are located in major cities around the world. Each of them is different with its own unique style, design and inspiring, tasteful, elegant interiors with art incorporated into them.
The owners of the hotels were very active modern and contemporary art collectors for many decades. With time they started to show their exhibits in their hotels worldwide. The collection in Hong Kong Langham hotel comprises of no less than 1500 pieces of art. The presence of art in hotel interiors makes you feel like in a small gallery. Paintings, installations, sculptures can be found in many places within the hotel grounds anywhere from the entrance or the lobby to floor corridors, etc. Permanent availability of art, opportunity to look at it without pressure and limitations makes us contemplate it calmly and sometimes unconsciously. We think of it and discover it anew. Being with art in such conditions I could look again at a scuplture (e.g while waiting for an elevator), read about it, think, admire, contemplate its form, history and making. This experience is pleasant and makes one feel in close relation with the piece of art. This relation reduces the unnecessary, artificially pumped distance between art and its admirer.
Spending time in Langham hotels, which meant direct, regular and free being next to art surrounding me, made me hear it speaking to me. Its voice was unnoticed at first but found its way to my thoughts, my mind, and finally took over my heart. Today I know, that art has always been my companion.
My fascination with Hong Kong and the curiosity it provoked as well as open mind for the new changed my attitude towards creating, gave me courage. Being there I understood that art may be for everyone and that there are places in the world where it will suit, add beauty to its surroundings, make people stop and wonder, and surprise. I understood that this is the art I want to make – the art designated for interiors used every day and not for cold museum halls or galleries. I discovered myself anew, defined myself, determined the way that I want to follow and that I have successfully continued to walk by now. With all this inspiration inside me I came back to painting. My motto is a passage by one of my favourite artists, Henri Matisse: „What I dream of is an art of balance, of (…) soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.”