It was one day in June. A double rainbow stretched over Victoria Harbour, attracting crowds to take pictures of its beauty. That was certainly a memorable moment worth capturing and sharing with others. Some people say rainbow is a symbol of hope because it emerges after a heavy rain. Hence analogically, we see “hope” smiling at us when we look up to the sky in the aftermath of adversity.
This is a turbulent time characterized with frequent natural disasters, dramatic economic ups and downs, as well as fierce political strife. Consequently, people are driven to anxiety and stress, and live a life overshadowed by uncertainty. Many people have lost the vigor to live on. Yet Japanese artist Hiroshi Mori and Hong Kong artist Louise Lee, despite that they reside on two different lands separated by the East China Sea, coincidentally seek to let the audience see the bliss of hope and receive positive energy from their works through portraying children.
Hiroshi Mori blends innovative painting effects with the Rimpa school of traditional Japanese painting. He is then able to create elegant and detailed representation, for example, a touch of sadness is conveyed through slowly drifting leaves against rich colours. Furthermore, the artist tells us not to be misled by the wandering images of the back of children, who indeed are not lonely at all as they will encounter companions, that is, cats and friends, in the forest. Hiroshi Mori deliberately hides the children’s faces to give us the opportunity to think up their facial expressions. This allows us to stand in the role of the children and offers us room for imagination. Although we are surrounded by unhappiness, the choices of mood are open for us. Therefore, mood, good or bad, is a choice. When you study the works of Hiroshi Mori carefully, you will feel hope is there all the time.
Louise Lee teaches art to Japanese children in Hong Kong. She interacts with them often and understands them. The Japanese children are not spoiled though well taken care of by their parents and schools. They greet every day with a big smile. Louise Lee likes to observe their behaviour—the pure smile on their faces in play; their simple friendships; and their absolute dedication and hard work to competition. These angelic attributes uniquely belong to children. Louise Lee found her creative inspirations in children. She expresses such joyful times and childlikeness with simple strokes. From the smiling faces of children, we are enlightened to discover that happiness can be as simple and straightforward as that. In children, we see hope and brightness in the future.