I’ve stopped making Hong Kongers based on New Yorkers
I started the whole project last march because I wanted to learn to draw but didn’t want to learn from just one artist. delving into the cavalcade of New Yorker covers and mimicking some of my favourite cartoonists and illustrators: Barry Blitt, Peter de Sève, Christoph Niemann, Eric Drooker, Arthur Kimmig Getz, and of course Saul Steinberg was a lifeline for me. Subverting their artwork and making it relevant to my hometown was not an exercise in ripping them off but an exercise in me learning from them, laughing at the wit, and climbing stroke by stroke out of a depression hole I had fallen down while bed-ridden with chronic illness.
I never started the project to sell prints, be exhibited, or publish a book. All that came organically when I realised I was on to something. But the inescapable reality is that my Hong Kongers that were based on New Yorker covers aren’t wholly original. They’re adaptations, subversions, pastiches, homages, whatever you want to call them. And as I’m no longer depressed as all hell and struggling with health, it’s starting to feel exploitative and almost lazy to take the work of great artists and ride on their coat-tails.
So I’ve made changes. no more Hong Kongers based on New Yorkers. That was a 2021 thing and an integral part of my therapy, but it’s not something that I can continue to do in good faith to other artists.
I still make Hong Kongers though
Like White Flowers, which I posted yesterday on my Instagram. But you’ll notice some changes:
These are all original. They are not based on New Yorkers now. There is no side-by-side of a Hong Konger versus a New Yorker because the original New Yorkers no longer exist. Inspiration now comes totally from my own experiences
The dates of my old Hong Kongers were the same as the original New Yorkers so you could refer back to my prints’ origins. However, given that there is no original New Yorker to refer back to, the dates printed are now either dates that are personally significant to me o