TMB is always looking for ladies around Hong Kong who are doing their own thing and inspiring others. Winnie Mak is no exception and we heard about her when someone mentioned an exhibition called ‘Urban Hermits’. This exhibition involves 5 artists from Hong Kong who have created pieces themed around the escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Winnie Mak is one of the incredible artists involved in this project and studied Chinese Ink Painting, as well as Calligraphy in Calgary during 1980’s. Later she co-founded Artrend Creative Studio & Visual Art Consultants in 1994. Since then she has been involved in various exhibitions, setup ceramic workshops in China, in addition to holding art classes for children who’ve gone on to win local and regional art competitions. After reading about everything she has achieved and how she’s helped others, we just had to interview her!
What made you want to study Chinese ink painting and calligraphy?
I had great encouragement from my grandparents when I first started calligraphy and Chinese painting at the age of 10. It became an integral part of my artwork and I was fortunate to have learned under many great artists using these mediums. Since then I have never stopped using ink painting and calligraphy.
You co-founded Artrend Creative Studio & Visual Art Consultants in ’94, what were the biggest challenges you faced while establishing the studio?
While starting a business in any industry is never easy, when we first started, the biggest challenge was finding the most effective way to promote the new company. Through a lot of perseverance we are glad to be able to continue the work we do today.
You’re the only woman in the ‘Urban Hermits’ exhibition, would you say that the art world is mostly male or female dominated, and why?
It’s entirely coincidental that I am the only woman in this 5 person show. In Hong Kong, we have many talented female artists doing wonderful work in all art forms. They have participated in many curated exhibitions in the past; and as we continue to have more female graduates with Fine Art degrees, we definitely expect to see more female artists showing their work here in the future.
What advice would you give to young women looking to take part in an exhibition, open a studio or generally further themselves in art?
I would pass on three main principles for young women looking to get started with a career in the arts. And these are:
It’s never a simple matter to construct your own career.
It requires total commitment.
Thorough planning may help a lot in achieving your goals.
How would you describe your work in a few words?
A simple depiction of Nature.
If you want to see Winnie’s work in the flesh, then head down to ‘Urban Hermits’. The exhibition is sponsored by Hong Kong Land and takes place at the Rotunda in Exchange Square from 12th March – 31st March, so go check it out and support Hong Kong’s artists! See more of her work below!