A green head full of ideas
Seventeen-year-old Tiffany Wong Hoi-shan says: 'Art to me is a source of energy. It's the fuel that powers me through all the difficulties I face in life.'
It certainly seems to be working.
The Maryknoll Convent School graduate was accepted by both New York's Parson The New School for Design and London's Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design. She picked London, where she will pursue her dreams from September.
'I think London has a better atmosphere for doing art,' she says.
Tiffany wants to work in the fashion field in future and introduce more eco-friendliness into the world of glitz and glamour. She wants to bring a sense of environmental responsibility to the fashion industry, following in the footsteps of Stella McCartney, a fashion designer who is also a noted animal rights activist.
Tiffany's other idol is Coco Chanel, the founder of the famed brand. She admires Chanel because she was a strong and resolute woman. Like Chanel, Tiffany considers herself both a feminist and a perfectionist. A tiny blemish on her work can get her all worked up, she says.
Tiffany has been inspired by both Eastern and Western styles of art. 'I started doing Western oil painting and Chinese painting when I was 10,' she notes.
'Just as painters interpret their feelings through the canvas, fashion designers use colours and textures to create extraordinary visual effects,' she adds. 'That fascinates me.'
Her interest in contemporary art grew during her studies of visual arts and English literature courses in her senior years.
Tiffany admits that it was a challenge juggling studies and art. She spent her weekdays doing her academic work; on weekends, she worked on her art portfolio - day and night. During holidays, rather than spend time with her friends, she locked herself in her studio.
Tiffany sees her progress as a budding artist as a chance to understand herself better. She has explored various styles and different mediums. 'Learning from my mistakes during the process of developing my ideas into artworks helped me learn more about myself,' she says.
The young artist's family has always been supportive. So has her art teacher, Zoe, who has not only encouraged Tiffany to pursue her interest but has also lent her a helping hand with her projects.
Tiffany says she draws inspiration from almost everywhere. Dead fish and shrimps at wet markets, blood vessels in biology textbooks - they have all become part of Tiffany's artwork The Moment.
Her 'Expression' series contains a painting called Voice. It was inspired by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch's The Scream.
Voice depicts a screaming green head against a black-and-white background packed with words.
Tiffany says that by screaming we can release our pent-up frustrations and anger. The black-and-white background symbolises that no matter how hard we may scream, our words can go unheard.
Tiffany has some advice for other young emerging artists.
'Always remember the courageous dream you have,' she says. 'Doing art is both physically and emotionally exhausting. Be strong enough to cope, and don't lose who you are.'
Tiffany's exhibition Don't Lose Who You Are will be on show on May 21-22 at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei