Artist shows that caring begins at home
Spanish artist Eva Armisen is inviting all of Hong Kong to her house in Tuen Mun for Christmas.
As part of Sino Group's Art in Hong Kong initiative, Armisen has spent seven months designing and building Casa Eva, a cheerful, Spanish-style home and village in tmtplaza to remind shoppers of the importance of family over the festive season.
The installation includes a dozen paintings of the cartoon character Eva and her family created especially for the show, which runs until January 2.
'The paintings I am showing here are about close relationships between parents, children, grandmas and grandfathers. We have to take care of our family. It is especially important at Christmas,' Armisen said.
'Christmas is a time when family gets together. The rest of the time everyone is busy and Christmas becomes the only time you see the whole family.
'If you love someone a lot, you have to take care of that love. You have to be aware, to enjoy them and to tell them that you love them.'
Armisen's work spans the artistic spectrum, from painting and printmaking to ceramics, but this is the first time she has recreated a Spanish village in the form of a gigantic installation.
The playful work shows villagers busy preparing for the festivities - the cafe has put up its Christmas menu, the butcher and baker have decorated their shops and three kings are stationed outside the church.
At the house, the family van is parked in the garden, there is a giant Christmas tree erected and Eva's family performs a Spanish version of Jingle Bells every half hour.
Visitors can also climb inside the van to have a photo taken with grandma, who sits on the sofa holding her grandchild.
For HK$20, visitors can have the photograph framed inside a paper border designed by Armisen. All of the proceeds from the photographs go to Operation Santa Claus, the annual fund-raiser organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK.
Since starting in 1988, Operation Santa Claus has supported more than 100 charities. The money raised this year will go to 16 Hong Kong-based charities helping the needy in the city and on the mainland.
'I want everyone to smile. It is why I created a really happy atmosphere to make people feel relaxed and enjoy life,' Armisen said.
'The world is full of things that make you cry. We forget about smiling and enjoyment. A high percentage of happiness is related to our family, children, parents, grandparents and pets.'
Chefs from four Sino Group hotels have baked 16 snow-globe Christmas cakes, one each for this year's beneficiaries. The group also organised a 'Snowy Wonderland' party, complete with penguins and Santa.
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