The Hong Kong artist’s works are on view from 22 to 25 March at the Chung Dim section at Art Central Hong Kong.
Painter, illustrator and graphic designer Prodip Leung is recognised for his compelling visual imagery populated by mythical monsters, aliens and spiritual beings. Using a line drawing technique often employed in comics, Leung’s experimental works can be found on concert posters, flyers and CD covers, drawing inspiration from cartoons, street art and pop subcultures that challenge the boundaries of conventional art-making.
Since the beginning of his career in art, Leung’s works have explored the possibilities of the universe with a focus on extraterrestrial life. His interest in the other-worldly began when he spotted lines of light that resembled a spaceship in Kowloon as a child. Since then, he has studied the UFO phenomenon closely — “for over 20 years” — and hopes that through his works, he can share the reality of the existence of aliens among us.
Beyond fine art, Leung is also the bassist of the popular — and somewhat controversial — Cantonese hip hop group LMF (Lazy Mutha Fucka). And although he says there’s no relation between his identity as an artist and as a musician, we can draw the conclusion that much of his creative explorations and cultural interests stem from his love for indie and rock music. As such, many of his works — most notably Untitled (2021), a longboard covered with paintings of aliens, anime and monsters — are reminiscent of skate culture and street culture.
In conversation with Prodip Leung
What was your first foray into art? When did you first realise you were going to become a professional artist?
I’ve always been interested in 90’s underground music and vinyl cover designs, especially those in the albums from the record label 4AD. To me, these cover designs are art. Yet at the same time, I still don’t see myself as a ‘professional’ artist…
Tell me about your practice. Why aliens and spiritual beings? What makes you so drawn to them?
When it comes to the subject matter of my works, I like to depict aliens and other-worldly creatures because of my interest in outer space and beyond — the UFO phenomenon has been a close topic of mine for over 20 years. I want to share with people the reality that aliens have been here for a very, very long time.
How would you describe your art style in words?
What ideas and themes inform your works presented at Art Central?
Aliens. Characters from my work. And one painting is of a true alien encounter that happened on 20 January 1996 in Varginha, Brazil.
Is this your first time showing at Art Central and how do you feel about it?
Yes, this is my first time showing at Art Central. In short, I feel thankful for the opportunity, because as I mentioned, I don’t see myself as a professional artist at all.
What do you hope your audience will feel or learn when they see your exhibition?
An awareness that we are living in the universe with many other beings — and some may not be benevolent.
In your experience, is there a strong ecosystem for the arts in Hong Kong; are artists well supported?
I would say it’s not that bleak. Hong Kong has a few galleries that support local artists, such as JPS Gallery, Quiet Gallery, Parallel Space and OAE Gallery.
Beyond art, you’re also a musician. How do the two disciplines inform and influence each other? What are some similarities and differences?
I think they’re totally different. Music involves working with other people, but painting is done alone — it’s the way I practice these two disciplines.