Hong’s artistic expression is rooted in her experience as an eight year old girl as one of the ‘Vietnamese Boat People’ fleeing Vietnam for Hong Kong before arriving in the UK in 1980.
Her exploration of displacement and exile through art has come after a career as a digital artist. She explains, “For many years I was reluctant to be an artist. Primarily because I was a refugee. I felt that I need to do something practical to earn a wage.” Accordingly, she graduated with a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art Sculpture followed by an MA 3D Computer Visualisation and Animation, and since 1996 has worked as Digital Artist on major Feature Films including: Babe Pig n the City, 10,000 BC and Ridley Scott’s epic film Gladiator.
Her father’s passing and the birth of her two daughters made her reconsider her decision.
“In recent years I could not deny my urge to tell my story through art, using the skills I have obtained in the film industry. I feel this is my destiny especially after the passing of my father. The many stories of unsung heroes left untold. I feel that my artwork benefits others and they enjoy it. I have mastered the skills that I need to create and communicate my visions. I am beginning to realised that Art could transcend language barriers, gender, sex, race, colour and religion. I started my childhood memories project 5 years ago when my daughter Jessica and Amelia was 10 and 6. My daughter brought brought me back to my own childhood. Seeing my two daughter at a similar age to myself when I first left Vietnam as a Boat Refugee made me felt that as if we were living on two parallel worlds, East and West, rich and poor.”
Hong has spent the last 5 years putting together a visual diary of digital art work of childhood memories for her daughters, a diary that honours the unsung heroes in times of adversity that sacrificed for their loved ones without medals and honours.
She’s run Artist Open Houses and exhibitions, with her personal work exhibited in various prestigious galleries such as: The Mall Galleries (London), The Smith Gallery (London) Righton Gallery (Manchester) and Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery.
Her work is a journey of self discovery, exploring universal themes of love, loss, separation and hope – and also those of other Vietnamese boat children.