Giraffe LEUNG

About the Artist

Giraffe Leung Lok Hei, a Hong Kong based post-90s artist, worked as an interior designer for a year after graduating from university, he was then determined to pursue a career as a full-time artist.

As an artist, Giraffe shows great concern about his home city Hong Kong in various aspects such as local culture, collective memories of the local people, construction and urban development, etc. His artwork often features material that were once highly valued to many Hongkongers in everyday lives but became obsolete in rapid urban development.

In one of his art series, he chooses leaves as the medium to raise Hong Kong’s urban planning problems, diminishing of green areas and poor awareness in environmental conservation. On the other hand, his handwritten characters work speaks the unavoidable challenge of digital and communication platforms, where his coins work depicts a nostalgic form is being gradually replaced by digital and virtual transactions.

 
Central ,  2019. 1 dollar coins (Hong Kong Dollar) on wood board, 122 x 122 cm.

Central, 2019. 1 dollar coins (Hong Kong Dollar) on wood board, 122 x 122 cm.

 

Coins – Memories of Hong Kong

Giraffe Leung's new series of painting, entitled Coins – Memories of Hong Kong features Hong Kong 20 cents, 10 cents and 1 dollar coins. By experiment different methods of blackening the coins with solutions to portray images of iconic Hong Kong scenes, both existing and vanished, such as the Victoria Harbour, Queen’s Pier (named after Queen Victoria, was established in 1925 and closed down to facilitate land reclamation in 2007), and Anita Mui, is the queen of Hong Kong’s pop music industry and an actress, who died of cervical cancer in 2003. Leung speaks not only to his memories of his home city, but also to the inevitable changes in Hong Kong.

Leung uses tens of thousands of coins seemingly as a canvas in his works, which become an inseparable part of the visual content. “While digital, virtual and other types of transaction are globally replacing the physical currencies, I want to use coins to remind people of the value of things that existed and played a role in our lives,” Leung says. His works responds to the immediacy of social change in Hong Kong and identity.