Since 2014・Volume 4

News, Reviews & Coverage of the Artists using Ballpoint Pens, the Artwork They Create, the Tools They Employ & Other Equally Newsworthy but Overlooked Art & Cultural Topics, Worldwide.

Artistic indulgence has always played a part in

Wai's work—''Spontaneity is important in the

process of my drawings,'' he insists—but current

events have seeped into recent works. Wai now occasionally touches upon sociopolitical topics

in a new series, Dauntlessly, which he describes

as ''a series of drawings about skepticism of

justice.'' Dauntlessly, 14 Year Old Chalk Girl

(2015) references flowers chalked onto the

wall of a government building by a Chinese girl,

whose subsequent arrest made headlines.

Dauntlessly, Charlie Buddha 1  (2015,

pictured  BACKPAGE) references the killing

by Islamic extremists of the staff of a French

publication which had satirized Muhammed.

Wai's most recent addition to the series,

Dauntlessly, Shade of a Flower  (2017,

pictured above), repurposes the motif of Chalk

Girl. ''The girl was arrested by 10 policemen,''

explains Wai. ''She was sent to a children's home

and detained for two nights until a kind judge

released her, as the situation had created strong

criticism. I am showing her flower as an extension

of the protest.'' Shade of a Flower was selected

for inclusion at Ink Global, an expansive group

exhibition held in early August, 2017, at the

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

 This year's event commemorated the 20th

anniversary of Britain returning Hong Kong to China​.

​ Continues on the  BACKPAGE ...

Continuing from the HEADLINES 1  page  ...  

Even if the artist, himself, neither consciously knows where his lines are going from the start nor has an explanation for them in the end, his intuitive strengths are unquestionable. Regardless, the seemingly random strands of line strokes show different things to different viewers. What looked to me like a satellite-view outline of Japan in A Moment of Truth 27  (2014) turned out to be sheer coincidence. ''I don’t draw figuratively. I don’t imagine a part of (a piece) as mountain, river, animal, or other forms. Human body parts are also includedthey can be veins, nerves or muscles. I do draw them (in AMoT) but they are no longer what they were.'' Wai elaborates: ''Looking at the drawing, we might still be able to tell what individual parts look like, but distance, time and perceptions are no longer meaningful.''

Wai began his A Moment of Truth  series in 2011 with the idea of ''exploring a state of nature which is beyond our human sensations.'' Wai's artist statement introduced the ongoing, evolving project as ''drawings which take a point of view that in a dimension there is no determination about all space, time, objects, perceptions and intuitions. Space and time have become independent fragments of instants. In the drawing, they are represented by different appearances of fragmented objects according to the way we perceive their existence in space and time. None of them is dependent on each other in the drawing, and none of such formations represents a necessity for such combinations.'' By drawing many different elements together, he feels, ''a new dimension is created. Not only there is a kind of harmony, but also a kind of contradicting tension. I always think this new dimension is not permanent. It can only exist very briefly. That’s why I used 'A Moment' in the title. And the 'Truth' refers to the gathering of true characters.'' 

In A Moment of Truth 51  (2017, pictured HEADLINES 1),

elements of Wai's Rorschach Test-like composition present the

possibility of more literal, and extreme, interpretations. Some

viewers might unassumingly enjoy what is nonetheless an

explosive image, but, with feathery color and linework seeming

to radiate from some imaginary point of impact, viewers could

very well be witnessing a beautiful bird at the very moment it is

struck by a bullet. There's an undeniably elegant violence to

the piece which illustrates the subjective power of art

regardless of the artist's intentions. Wai offered no reply when

presented with the impression. The use of color in AMoT 51

shows Wai expanding his palette, utilizing ''new ingredients''

and experimenting with their application: ''Colors are painted

at the back of another piece of paper, and diffuse to the

drawn surface when both papers are wet.'' Wai's preferred

drawing surface is Japanese washi paper. Here it aids in his

innovative process, and its textures also add to the mood of

this and many other compositions. 

A poem Wai wrote for a 2008 drawing  A Rhythm of…  makes note of disparate elements one might see in his artwork :

A rhythm of ... 
Salt of the sea. Grains on the sky. Caves in the dawn. Stones in the dusk. Zephyr. Shores. The cliff.
Birds fly without wings. Rocks surf yet dry. Lives and lines lie in the rhythm of your mind.

INPRINT   by X. Xxx  posted March 1, 2016​​


Ballpoint Brief...

    PENNAME  by O. Lebron  posted August 12, 2017

Explaining Wai    Pongyu WaiHong Kong 



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Original content © The Ballpointer / Mahozawari Unlimited.

Above :  Dauntlessly, Shade of a Flower  2017, ballpoint pen on paper, 96.5 x 178cm (38 x 71''). 

Left :  Bauhinia (detail & in-full ) 2007, ballpoint pen

on paper, 154 x 102cm (61 x 41'').

Bottom :  A Moment of Truth 1  (2011), ballpoint pen

on paper, 29.7 x 21cm (12 x 9''). Artwork © Pongyu Wai.