When I was travelling in Hong Kong last week, I met with Stanley Wong, better known as anothermountainman, at the Grand Hyatt in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. I wanted to make a new friend to learn about Hong Kong’s art/design industry – and to my pleasant surprise, he amicably agreed to meet me for a lunch and a chat.
What intrigued me about his work was that it was very forward-thinking, slightly radical and undeniably poetic and thoughtful. So my most immediate question was where and how he gets his inspiration. As someone who is often a guest lecturer at major local and overseas institutions, he said “how do you get your inspiration?” was the most commonly asked question.
As he began explaining in both Cantonese and English, I started to write but he stopped and stated it would take him more than 2 hours to explain to me. He took over my Moleskin and pen and showed his mastery in wordplay (and Chinese are undoubtedly the wordplay masters) :
Four ways to get inspiration.
1. Use your heart to live.
2. Use your heart to observe how other people live.
3. Live beyond the basics.
4. Why not !
Through these points, I would get quiet, deep in thought about what he said, and then I’d feel a rush of excitement, asking a million questions and filled with new thoughts. It made sense. Good design is spiritual, it’s looking at yourself and beyond yourself and not being afraid to create.
Stanley looked at me and said in a serious voice in Cantonese, “most importantly, if you believe in your work – don’t waver, just keep working on it. When you believe in it, others will too. ”
I closed the book. A new light had turned on.
I believe____, therefore, I see____.
Stanley Wong: A self-defined social worker who uses visual communication as a tool to raise people’s awareness on various issues. Wong is the recipient of more than 500 Asian and international awards for his art, design, photography and advertising work throughout Hong Kong. Many of his art works have been exhibited overseas in international museums and are now part of their permanent collection. For the past 10 years, Wong gained international awareness with his ‘red, white and blue’ artwork collection, representing the ‘positive spirit of Hong Kong.’ In addition, anothermountainman is heavily involved with the education of design, and travels around the world as a guest lecturer in major local and overseas institutions.
“Design for society, design for life.”
Other facts and wisdom from anothermountainman: http://hk-magazine.com/city-living/article/graphic-designer-stanley-wong