Tian Tian – Blank Boy Canvas
50cm cast sculptures
Paul Wong, 2017, artist and guest curator for TTXS Vancouver
A collaboration with Danny Yung and 10 Vancouver Artists
In partnership with curiousandcreative.com
Vancouver April -May, 2017
Singapore July-August, 2017
Paul Wong was asked to be part of Tian Tian – Blank Boy Canvas exhibition in Vancouver. He also asked to invite 10 other artists. Paul included Drew Saffer, Heather Baker, Lyse Lemieux, Hank Bull, Chris Reed, Janice Toulouse, Link Leisure/David Malachi Robinson, MichealMichealMicheal, and Annie Briard.
Blank Boy Canvas is a collaboration that unifies modern art culture and North American talent with Hong Kong’s creative godfather; Danny Yung and his character ‘Tian Tian’. Yung derived his name from the Chinese proverb Tian Tian Xiang Shang translating to Everyday Looking Up. The 50 cm three-dimensional canvas has been given to selected artists to freely express, create or alter the subject while exploring the theme of infinite possibilities while capturing the inquisitive and innocent nature of youth.”
As a school boy in the 1950’s, Yung explains how Tian Tian Xiang Shang (TTXS) was written in such enormous letters over the entire front wall of every primary school in China that it had a threatening effect on schoolchildren. The proverb TTXS “everyday looking up” or “make progress every day” was meant to motivate children. However, Yung felt the school system was rigid and had the effect of stifling creativity. His reaction was to begin drawing little boy caricatures and conceptual comics. Over the next 33 years, they evolved into an amorphous, three-dimensional all white figure of a little boy with his head looking up and finger pointing skywards. He named this little boy, Tian Tian who became a platform to inspire. Outside in Nelson Square we see several 3 m versions of Tian Tian.
The Blank Boy Canvas aspect of the exhibit provides the blank white canvas of a 50 cm Tian Tian for selected artists “to freely express, create or alter the subject while exploring the theme of infinite possibilities while capturing the inquisitive and innocent nature of youth.” The 50 cm creations are by Vancouver, North American and Hong Kong artists. There is a group of 12 cm Tian Tian created by Vancouver, Japanese, and Hong Kong children. There are 1.6m Chinese Zodiac Tian Tian by Hong Kong artists. In the glass lobby window is a 9-frame comic by Danny Yung and Hong Kong artists.
The concept of the exhibition is to create a collaboration and dialogue between government, business and creative artists that will stimulate social change. Tian Tian Xiang Shang exhibitions had been held in the following cities, they are:
DC Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Ann Arbor, Toronto, Mexico City, Paris, Milan, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Tokyo, Iwate Prefecture, Daegu of Korea.
Tian Tian Xiang Shang Singapore 2017 Exhibition
In celebration of 20th Anniversary of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Tian Tian Xiang Shang – An Exhibition of Creative Cultural Exchange created by Danny Yung with over 1400 artworks from Hong Kong, Singapore, Vancouver and Japan, was held at Raffles City in Singapore from July 28 until Aug 21 2017. Participating artists included, from Hong Kong: designer Kan Tai Keung; Eric Yim, Chairman of Design Council of Hong Kong; John Tsang, Ex-Financial Secretary, Fashion Designer Vivienne Tam; Singers Anthony Wong, Ellen Loo, and etc; from Singapore: architect Kay Ngee Tan; film directors Eric Khoo, Boo Junking; author Alfian Sa’at; T’ang Quartet; Kok Heng Leun, Nominated Member of Parliament, and etc; from Canada: multimedia artist Paul Wong; Jenny Kwan, Member of the Canadian Parliament for Vancouver East and etc.