With record-breaking temperatures around the globe this summer, showing appreciation for our planet and the beauty of nature has never been more important. This message of gratitude and respect for our natural world is one that Hong Kong artist Stanley Wong, known as anothermountainman, expresses clearly in his work. He presents two pieces this year at Hong Kong House, as part of Japan’s largest open-air art festival, Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2022, which takes place in Tsunan in Japan’s rural Niigata Prefecture until November 13.
In a bid to encourage people to connect with the natural world, Hong Kong House opened in the summer of 2018 as a gallery, artists’ residence and platform for exchange. This year, as a result of the combined efforts of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale Executive Committee and Hong Kong’s Art Promotion Office (APO), Hong Kong House celebrates anothermountainman, whose work was selected by a panel from Hong Kong and Japan in 2020, fostering dialogue between the people of Hong Kong and Tsunan.
Apart from expressing respect for nature, anothermountainman’s work seeks to form connections between people and places. The idea of displaying the pieces at Hong Kong House involves active community engagement, which is why anothermountainman sees himself as the curator rather than the artist of this exhibition.
A Bowl of Life consists of an exchange of rice bowls between people in Hong Kong and Tsunan. These bowls, which once held daily hot meals, are transformed into planters where green lives are nurtured. The plants growing in the bowls help participants understand the give-and-take relationship between human beings and nature. With the participation of people from the two regions, they act as symbols of the commonalities and coexistence of human beings, despite differing cultures and locations.
Similarly, Painting by God was created through a series of workshops that celebrated the foundation of collaboration along with active participation, capturing striking silhouettes of the surroundings while offering participants a chance to admire the beauty of the world and live in the moment. This relationship between humans and the natural world creates not only an exchange between the two, but aspires to instil a sense of spiritual connection.