Hong Kongers to receive free illustrated portraits and be featured on this year's Affordable Art Fair mural
Hong Kong artist, Sophia Hotung, is hosting an open call for Hong Kongers to submit photos, which she will transform into 200 illustrated portraits for the Affordable Art Fair mural at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre from 4 – 7 August 2022
Hong Kong, 24 May 2022 – The Affordable Art Fair, an international exhibition series selling contemporary art priced between HK $1,000 and $100,000 in 10 cities including New York, London, and Hong Kong, will feature a mural wall showcasing over 100 real Hong Kongers at its Fair from 4 - 7 August 2022 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.
The mural, which will be created by Hong Kong writer and illustrator, Sophia Hotung, will transform crowdsourced photographs from Hong Kongers at home and abroad into illustrated portraits of individuals doing the finger heart, a hand gesture that originated from South Korea but has been co-opted by Hong Kongers to symbolise solidarity, hope, and love. The pose is a subverted adaptation of the monocled New Yorker character published on anniversarial covers of The New Yorker magazine, from which Hotung originally drew inspiration for her The Hong Konger art series.
All and any Hong Kongers are invited to submit a photograph of themselves for free to Hotung’s website, (link: sophiahotung.com/aaf-wall). From there, Hotung will set to work illustrating portraits on her iPad, which she uses to create all her artwork. Once finished, the illustrated portraits will be posted on social media, where people are encouraged to share and invite friends and family to join on the project. The submission call runs on a first-come-first-serve basis, though Hotung has no fixed number of how many portraits she will create once she surpasses 200.
Hotung will be producing the mural in partnership with Young Soy Gallery, the Arbuthnot Road art gallery co-founded and run by Shivang Jhunjhnuwala and Alexander Glavatsky-Yeadon. Young Soy Gallery, which will be exhibiting at the Fair, organised the 2021 Affordable Art Fair mural wall piece, Fragrant Fragments by Louise Soloway Chan, as well, and represents a range of local and international talent including Hotung, Patrik Wallner, Riya Chandiramani, and OBSRVR.
Sophia Hotung, writer and illustrator, said, “Doing something community-driven, inclusive, and accessible was front of mind when the Affordable Art Fair and Young Soy Gallery invited me to create this year’s mural wall. I often crowdsource ideas on social media when creating my Hong Konger artworks, and thought that representing real Hong Kongers for the mural would be an even more powerful and fun way to get people excited about art. Also, who doesn’t want a free illustrated portrait of themselves?”
Shivang Jhunjnuwala, co-founder of Young Soy Gallery, said, “One reason in particular why we are so excited to be collaborating with Sophia on this is not only because she is incredibly talented, but also because she is a tenacious individual who is constantly pushing the envelope.”
The Affordable Art Fair said, "The Affordable Art Fair has been showcasing artworks that cater to audiences’ taste and budget and making art accessible to all, with an ethos of transparency, friendliness and art education. We have been active in promoting local art and providing a platform for local art lovers to discover new and emerging Hong Kong artists and their thought- provoking works with new perspectives. We also believe art is a unique platform for self-expression, self-discovery and even self-love that every individual deserves to have. This is the very reason and driving force behind our mission to democratise the art world."
About Sophia Hotung
Sophia Hotung is a Eurasian writer and illustrator from Hong Kong. Originally a tech analyst and product manager, she pivoted to writing and illustrating in 2021 when her autoimmune diseases made it impossible to continue her corporate career. Sophia is the artist behind The Hong Konger collection, which has been exhibited at Soho House, Eaton Hong Kong, the Wild Lot, Oi Ling Antiques, Young Soy Gallery, and Art Next Expo. Her book, The Hong Konger Anthology is available across bookstores in Hong Kong and sold out its first print run in two weeks, becoming Bookazine’s Book of the Week during the 2021 winter holiday season. Sophia leverages her art and writing to advocate for and represent the intersectionality of gender and chronic illness, specifically at work.
About Young Soy Gallery
Young Soy is a Hong Kong born gallery with a desire to cultivate and celebrate a diverse range of radical cultural influences. Since its inception in 2020, Young Soy has hosted over 10 exhibitions in the region, and participated in three international art fairs with more scheduled for later this year. Although Young Soy Gallery is still relatively new, they have already made a serious impact on Hong Kong’s arts and culture scene. Not only have they shone a light on the emerging talent the city has to offer, but they have also made a conscientious effort to make sure the masses can participate. They truly are Hong Kong’s gallery for the people.
Young Soy Gallery
+852 6079 4775
15/F, 3 Arbuthnot Rd, Central, Hong Kong