Sonya Fu is a Hong Kong based surreal digital artist whose work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and art fairs across Hong Kong, China, United States, Australia, and Germany since 2010. Growing up in the former British Colony where East meets West, Fu is influenced by both Oriental and Western culture. Using inspirations from dreams, music, morality, and religious belief systems, she bases her works on hypnagogic imagery and the unseen beauties she has encountered during episodes of sleep paralysis. All of these elements can be seen in the detailed and delicate brushstrokes of her mysterious, eerie, and captivating digital paintings.
From September 19th – October 26th, 2014; you can view Sonya’s most recent work at her solo exhibition:
28 Tai Ping Shan Street,
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
When & how did you decide to paint seriously/professionally?
I worked as a graphic designer before I became a full time artist. Art has been my greatest passion ever since I started drawing at around 3. In 2010, I had my very first gallery experience at a local group exhibition. I received a lot of positive feedback and I was thrilled about the whole experience so thought to myself, I could actually follow my heart and do what I love. So here I am doing it, and I have been very grateful!
Did you go to an art school? Or, are you a self-taught artist?
I graduated in commercial graphic design from a local design institute, where they taught mainly graphic design skills. I have been learning art through observation and practice, so I am pretty much a self-taught artist.
How did you develop your own style?
Through exploring and experimenting, there have been a lot of surprises. I also have a habit of looking at my old work to find what I could improve. Something that I missed or didn’t see, or something that I want to try, I go ahead to then do this in my new work. The process is fun, it’s like customizing an outfit to fit my body, exploring different styles to fit my mind and mood.
What’s your earliest yet most memorable work?
I think it’s “Skin Deep” from my first solo back in 2011 at Above Second (Hong Kong). I received feedback from many people, most of which was about the piece being “too dark”. Then a collector, who is also a friend of mine bought a print of it and told me that she actually loves it and thinks it’s very beautiful. She also encouraged me to embrace this gift and keep on doing what I love. Her words mean so much to me and I am also very thankful for the gallery that offered me such awesome opportunity and experience.
Which digital paintings do you consider your best or favorite works so far?
This is a hard one, all of my work holds a special meaning to me! If I had to choose, one of them it would be “Skin Deep” (2011) as I talked about it earlier, this work means so much to me. Also “Tender Stillness”(2013), that creature I painted still haunts me in my dreams… at the time I was going through some emotional moments and big decisions. And my latest work “Inner Child” (2014), I had a lot of fun working on this one. It gave me the kind of refresh and new perspective that I needed.
Is there something you wish you had known when you started your art career? If so, do you mind telling me what it is?
To be carefree and less self-conscious. To follow my heart not what others want me to be/do. It took me a long time to realize and break through my limiting thought patterns, I still have so much to learn and a long way to go but I’m thankful that what happened, happened.
“My art can be disturbing to the audience, but this is my honest interpretation of the consciousness that lies deep within me. If my work manages to scare, sadden, excite or inspire people, then I am doing the right thing as an artist – creating and conveying emotion.”