When two arts collided love was sure to follow

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 July, 2011, 12:00am


William Lane, a concert violist and artistic director of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, and Carmen Ho, an art consultant, celebrated their marriage with 200 guests at a wedding banquet on June 16 at the Gold Coast Hotel.

William's musician friends played his favourite piece, Brahms' Piano Trio No1, as the couple walked down the aisle. William, 28, had planned to have the piece played at his wedding before he even met Carmen, 29. The bride, however, had no idea what it was.

'You'll have to ask him that,' Carmen said with a smile.

Although they are both involved in the arts, it's a subject they rarely talk about after working hours. In fact, when they first met, Carmen had a hard time understanding William when he talked about music.

That was in 2009, about a year after Tasmania-born William moved to Hong Kong. He was a regular at exhibition openings at Osage Gallery, where Carmen works.

Carmen stole William's heart long before their first date. 'I remember that day she showed me around the exhibition. She had these massive glasses on, and that was the moment,' he recalled.

William then suggested creating a musical performance for an exhibition Carmen was in charge of. For the next two months, they worked closely together, meeting up and talking on Skype almost every night.

'Actually, I didn't want to be in charge of the music performance because I don't really know much about music. I didn't understand a word he was saying,' Carmen said. 'Every time I had a meeting with him, I asked my colleague to tag along because I had no idea what he was talking about.'

William said: 'She probably substituted her lack of knowledge with smiles, and that's how she attracted me.'

The two went on their first real date to the opening of a friend's exhibition in Central, followed by dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant.

'It was during that dinner that we got to know more about each other outside of work,' Carmen said.

She moved in with William months later. Last June, on the anniversary of their first date, William asked Carmen to marry him. He placed lit candles around their bedroom and got down on one knee. The two registered their marriage last November.

One of the attractions for Carmen was that they share the same goals. 'We have passions for art and music. We respect each other and understand what we are doing,' she said.

Both grew up in single-parent families with a younger step-brother, so their similar family background drew them even closer.

'We both want to pursue our dreams in art and music, but it's hard because both of us have family responsibilities,' Carmen said. 'And also, living in a commercial world like Hong Kong, it's easy to lose track of your dream sometimes.'

William never stops motivating her, Carmen said. 'He's a great life partner.'

William knew Carmen was the one for him not long after they met. 'Things just worked. We learn from each other and complement each other. I guess she struck all the right notes,' he said.

'Like our best man said at the wedding, she organises my brain.'

The couple plan to host a party in Australia in January to celebrate their marriage.