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Exhibition illustrates the dream of Michael Kwong

The latest works by local illustrator Michael Kwong will be showcased from tomorrow (December 22) to January 5, next year at the Exhibition Gallery of Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

In the past, illustrations served as an aid to words. However, with the growing popularity of comics, animation, graphic books and cartoon characters and the rising standards of today's illustrators, illustration has developed into an independent art form that claims an equal standing with words, and is perhaps even starting to surpass them. Illustration is now widely used in many fields, including advertising, mass media, publishing, TV and film. In recent years, many cartoon characters depicted by illustrators, such as Hello Kitty from Japan, and works by Jimmy Liao, of Taiwan, have also been turned into commercial products, or even made the transition to the big screen. Illustration has evolved into a creative industry of considerable market value.

Young local artist Michael Kwong has a passion for drawing and since childhood has aspired to hold a solo exhibition. To realise his dream of becoming a painter, he studied illustration at the Columbus College of Art and Design, USA. He then returned to Hong Kong, founded Locomotive Production Limited and engaged in illustration, product and graphic design. In this journey, he faced many difficulties and obstacles.

In this exhibition, Michael Kwong has chosen illustration as his artistic language. Entitled as "Es Muss Sein" (German for "It Must Be"), the exhibition refers to words written on the movement of a string quartet composed by Beethoven, representing Michael's determination to make his dream fulfilled.

Comprising four sections, this exhibition fully reflects Michael's diverse attempts and endeavours in creation of illustration. The first section contains story illustrations, as represented by several pieces of his past work for children's books. The second is dedicated to conceptual drawing, an expression of the artist's inner feelings. The third consists of character design, an aspect in which Michael is well versed. Items on display include drawings of cartoon characters and three-dimensional figures he created. "The Galaxy Bunch Series" makes up the fourth section which features a group of adventurous extra-terrestrial friends on a journey to explore the universe.

The exhibition, third of the Artists in the Neighbourhood Scheme III, is organised by the Art Promotion Office (APO) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The exhibition is also the first collaboration between APO and the Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR). A selection of the works by Michael Kwong is also on display at the KCR Art Corner in East Tsim Sha Tsui Station form this December to January, next year to bring arts to the passengers.

Free guided tours will be offered to the public and school groups. For bookings, contact the Community Art Team of the APO on 3101 2712 or 3101 2713.

To learn more about the artist and his work, visit the APO's website: .

The Hong Kong Cultural Centre is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. The Exhibition Gallery is open daily from 10am to 8pm. Admission is free.

Ends/Wednesday, December 21, 2005

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