Chinese X Jewish cultures

Artist Biography

Carol was born and grew up in a traditional Chinese family in colonial Hong Kong, celebrating many Chinese customs – from fire crackers on Chinese New Year to spring’s Ching Ming Festival. She received her primary to tertiary education in this environment, where the attitude of “say less and do more” became deeply instilled in her.work2-2

With the turn of the millennium, Carol converted to Judaism ‑ a non-missionary religion, unfamiliar to the local community. Since then, Carol has encountered endless challenges adjusting to Jewish practices in the westernized Chinese world. All the while, she has been inspired by not only the many similarities but also the many differences of the two cultures. Her artworks aspire to remove boundaries between these two long-enduring and traditional cultures.

After graduating from Hong Kong Baptist University’s School of Communication, Carol worked in the advertising departments of several multi-national companies, where she experienced many multicultural adventures! Subsequently, Carol worked in commercial galleries, teaching herself art history, and also different techniques in drawing and painting. This led directly to admission to the Master of Visual Arts program at the Hong Kong Baptist University.

Carol believes that “reconnect” is the key word of art nowadays. The Chinese Yi Ching observes that “all return to the same place though traveling different roads” (同歸殊途); In her art, Carol does not attempt to find new “roads,” but rather, to tie up the various loose ends upon arrival at “the same place.” She converts available resources – and constraints – to reach the maximum attainable result. Carol hopes her audience may share in and enjoy the peak experience of this interaction.

Since language and its graphic representation are the essence of these two cultures, Carol’s first artistic endeavor has been to write Hebrew in Chinese calligraphy style. This creates a new way to experience reading Hebrew, while removing the alienated feeling of the Chinese character for the non-Chinese reader. This first use of art to remove boundaries between these different cultures has been rich, exciting, rewarding and very personal.

With her art, Carol would like to bring the feeling of home to the audience. With the rapid globalization of culture and the increasing mobility of the workforce, individuals may achieve materialistic satisfaction but without spiritual satisfaction. Her works will continue to convey the message of “we-ness” – sharing and being, rather than standing apart and looking.

With my beloved teacher and classmates at the AVA

With my beloved teacher and classmates at the AVA

Contemporary Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang at Asia Society event

Contemporary Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang at Asia Society event

Mr Henry Steiner and his book "Cross Cultural Design" ~ a lovely gift!

Mr Henry Steiner and his book “Cross Cultural Design” ~ a lovely gift!


This entry was posted on November 28, 2015 by in About and tagged , , , , .

© Carol Man 文頴恩 2014 – 2022