Innovative artwork by amateurs

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 January, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 January, 1994, 12:00am

IT does not always take professionals to produce artistic work. Take housewife Tang Mei-yee, for example, her leisure preoccupation is recycling the scraps at home: broken glass, torn cloth, an old bunk bed, anything, she says, into artworks or objects with practical functions.

Ms Tang's creations are part of an interesting display at the Hong Kong Arts Centre Members and Staff Exhibition being held at the centre's Atrium (second to fourth floor).

The 50 pieces shown are works of people, some without any artistic portfolios, who like to dabble in art during their free time.

The exhibition, although described as ''small'' and presented ''modestly with little glamour'' by Arts Centre chairman Ira Kaye, nevertheless has everything from meditative paintings, technically produced photographs, to artsy-looking ceramics and decorative handicrafts.

Ms Tang's Garbage features what looks like soft drinks cans-turned-blossoming flowers. Dozens of Pepsi, Coke, Fanta Orange aluminum cans are cut into strips and finely curled into petals of endless patterns.

''It's all done on impulse without much designing,'' said the cheerful environmental protectionist.

Attracting attention is Awakening , a painting that quietly, but powerfully, lures one into a strange quiet shrouded in deep blue.

''The lone bird on the lamp post pictures me in prayer,'' said designer Bonnie Yeung, a Christian whose work is to decorate the centre's display windows.

''It is a meditation on how the hundreds of millions of mainland compatriots, symbolised by the rows of houses below, are still ignorant of God.'' Jewellery lover Eleanor Ng, an administrative staff, is fascinated with sparkling black onyx, the major element she used to make Beloved , a necklace highlighted with blue stones.

''I took a jewellery-making course six months ago. The technical part isn't difficult, but designing them is a challenge.'' One cannot miss Molly Soltay's Red Sands and Escarpment , two paintings that starkly stand out in yellow and red earthy tones.

''I want to turn nature into something lively and interesting. Art is my life,'' said Ms Soltay, who is a member of the centre's Board of Governors.

The exhibition ends on February 16.