A splash of colour

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 December, 2008, 12:00am

While other teens made festive plans for the last week of the year, sisters Tiffany Zau, 15, and Christina, 12, have been going through piles of paintings, trying to figure out which to feature in their first exhibition.

Their one-day show - Passion in Art . Wisdom in Action: Watercolours by Tiffany and Christina Zau - will be held on January 4 at Pao Galleries in the Hong Kong Arts Centre.

It will feature 41 paintings, ranging from traditional Chinese to contemporary freestyle watercolours - highlights of a painting career that began just five years ago.

It was a decision by their mother that brought the sisters to traditional Chinese painting. Nancy Zau felt her daughters were getting plenty of exposure to foreign cultures in their international school.

So she wanted them to learn more about Chinese culture and thought that painting would be a fun way to do it. But the sisters did not stick with Chinese painting alone. With more than 100 pieces behind them, they have decided to put together an exhibition and show everyone what they are capable of.

'Some of our friends and teachers don't know we draw. They will definitely be surprised to see so many drawings 'secretly done',' said Tiffany.

The duo has been nearly overwhelmed by the amount of work involved in putting on an exhibition.

There were technical problems to deal with, such as categorising and framing the paintings. There was also administrative work, such as preparing speeches, biographies and invitation letters.

Though close, the sisters have very different personalities and this is reflected in their works. Tiffany looks at the big picture and is bolder in her use of colour, blending and splattering it in her paintings.

'The way I use colour is instinctive,' she said. 'When people see my work, I like them to interpret it in their own way. There is no definition of a painting.'

Christina is detail-oriented and many people are astonished by the layering in her paintings. 'If I knew one of my paintings was in someone's house and they looked at it every day, I'd feel really flattered,' said Christina.

All works will be silently auctioned and the proceeds donated to the Chi Heng Foundation to help mainland children affected by HIV.

Admission is free.