20 April 2024 ·

Darrell Ng: a painter, calligrapher and altar boy

Hong Kong (BC.it) - Darrell Ng is a 22-year-old lanky young man and an altar-boy from St. Teresa's Parish in Kowloon. Due to his height (almost 2 meters!) he imposes himself on all the altar boys when it is necessary to carry the cross in procession or during the Way of the Cross. I was able to spend some time with him during the Holy Week and I discovered an exceptional fact: Darrell is an artist, painter and calligrapher! He is different from many young people in Hong Kong: many of them see their future only based on their career, choosing studies such as engineering, computer science, law, medicine, economics, ... He chose to be an artist: a truly unconventional choice! In Hong Kong the ideal preached or implied is: "get rich!", becoming an engineer, a lawyer, a doctor, a programmer, a businessman. Darrell has instead chosen a riskier path for his future, even if his paintings have already been presented at various exhibitions and some have sold well. In a world that lives on calculations, give and take and profits, we need someone who opens us to a different world, made of inspirations, intuitions, visions, colors, self-giving. When he was still 14 years old, Darrell studied and learned the Chinese tradition of painting. His paintings from this period remind me of the paintings of the Ming and Qing period, together with some of the Zen style, with decisive and essential strokes. When the time came to decide on his studies, he went to London to the School of Fine Arts and here he grew up absorbing Western style, being influenced - as he himself says - by Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Signac. His current painting is inspired – as he himself says - by impressionism and minimalism. I went to visit him in his studio-warehouse in Hong Kong and he gave me a gift of one of his works, entitled “Enlightment”, which I renamed “Resurrection”: a painting with a wave of full-bodied yellow light and very delicate at the same time. He also gave me two calligraphies of his, which he composed there at the time. One says: “The Gospel [preached] in the world makes us enjoy peace (福音到處享平安)”; and the other: “The flowering of faith sings the love of God (聖教繁榮歌主愛)”. One last thing: when Darrell isn't painting and has time - like now in Hong Kong, during the Easter holidays - he works as a baker, making us taste his bread, his focaccias, his cookies.
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