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Home > Culture > Art & Design > Installation artist Amber Ng on finding her style and exhibiting at Affordable Art Fair
Installation artist Amber Ng on finding her style and exhibiting at Affordable Art Fair

Hong Kong artist Amber Ng shares with us her artistic journey and proudest work before her exhibition at Affordable Art Fair 2022.

Not a lot of college graduates step out of their four-year curriculum with a concrete game plan for the future. That’s not Amber Ng we’re talking about. In pursuit of her aesthetic, Ng started out as an aspiring painter who was eventually pointed toward the endless possibilities of an alternative medium. Among an abundance of vessels to bear her creative juices, Ng felt an instant connection with metal and glass, and the rest is history.

A year after graduation, the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) alumna finds herself one of the handpicked emerging artists to represent the face of Hong Kong art by Affordable Art Fair 2022. The piece that caught the eye of curators? Slide from her ongoing Playground series, which was created by motion capture technology and meticulous hand welding to reenact a fundamental memory in every Hongkonger’s childhood.

When asked about her tips on staying inspired, Ng’s advice is simple but insightful: “Keep looking, stay curious.” Normal passersby might have an inclination to take the ordinary for granted, but it’s in an artist’s nature to find meaning in norms, patterns and habits.

The perfect encapsulation of Ng’s philosophy, her upcoming interactive installation Climber is based on real-life playground equipment and crafted like one — it’s playtime at its debut at the Affordable Art Fair from 4 to 8 August, 2022.

Amber Ng on finding her style, and Affordable Art Fair 2022

For those who don’t know, who is Amber Ng?

I’m a metal, glass and digital artist. I am interested in the concept of play, and specialise in understanding human gestures and movements, translating them with 3D software through digital data into physical sculptures. 

How would you describe your style?

I process emotional behaviours in a rational way, and transform tangible matters through intangible means.

How and when did you discover your interest in art?

I have always been interested in art since I was young. I was so lucky to study in visual arts in college and in AVA, and meet many talents who share the ambitions and passion of life.

What was your artistic journey like? How did you come from beginner to finding your favourite medium and forte?

I used to believe I would be a painter. One day my painting professor suggested that we can explore more tools that fit our own practice. So I turned to learning sculpture, working with metal and glass. Then I clicked with the materials, and felt working with three dimensional space helps me understand my own art. 

Do you remember your first-ever piece? What was the creative process like?

My first ever metal sculpture was made back in 2020, named Construction. That was my first ever experience in welding, which was enjoyable work.

What is your creative process like right now? Did anything change?

I now believe using digital means can allow me to further understand the physical connection between human bodies and the surrounding environment. Therefore, in my process of making, I often use motion capture technology and 3D software like Blender to process my visual data and create different unique sculptures.

Tell us about your favourite artwork you’ve created. 

The working process of Slide was the most impressive one for me. One of the most memorable moments in Slide was my lack of experience in building a larger scale of sculpture. Despite being a beginner in welding, the urge of building the whole project by hand pushed me to confront various challenges by generating solutions in the troubleshooting process. Even though Slide is not a flawless piece, it furnished me with unique and precious learning opportunities that encouraged me to further develop new projects ahead.

Do you have any artists you look up to? How do they influence you?

Dr. Peter AC Nelson is an artist that I look up to. He is an art historian, game scholar and visual artist working at the intersection of computer game and landscape studies. He was my supervisor when I was working on my graduation work in HKBU. I truly appreciate his guidance and introduce me to work with digital. Moreover, Peter’s work is deeply engrossed in a prolonged consideration of the history of landscape images, and it’s intriguing to see how they are remediated by technological shifts; and how these shifts absorb and reflect changes in our relationships with the physical environment is always inspiring.

How do you stay inspired?

Keep looking, stay curious.

What’s your best tip to overcome an artist’s block?

Either talk with my friends or try something completely new.

Is there anything new you would like to explore in the future?

Glass sculptures would be on my list to explore, especially hot glass, as it takes more patience and training to master.

What does art, or being an artist, mean to you?

Art gives meaning to our lives and helps us understand our world.

Do you have any advice for young artists in Hong Kong who are just starting out?

Keep working, keep looking at art, keep surrounding yourself with art. Find a sustainable way to balance living and making art. But never give up.

My new work showing at the Affordable Art Fair would be one of the sculptural works in my interactive Playground series. It uses motion capture technology to capture the ephemeral act of play in an actual playground, and transforms it into a large-scale monument. This time, I specially cooperate with a playground equipment manufacturer to try and make a “real” plaything.

Do you have anything to say to visitors to the Affordable Art Fair?

Please enjoy the interaction with the sculpture and be a part of the translated movement. Let’s have fun in this “playground”.

Follow Amber Ng on Instagram and check out her website.


Affordable Art Fair 2022 will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 4 to 7 August, showcasing thousands of contemporary artworks from over 60 local and international exhibitors. Stay up to date through their Instagram and get your tickets here.

Michelle Chan
Editor
A girl who got one (1) nostril piercing and let it dictate her entire style journey. Email me anything interesting!
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