Artist Spotlight: Carol Ho

Carol Ho - Love in the Wild
By Altermodernist  /  July 18, 2014

Carol Ho was born in Hong Kong and emigrated to Canada with her family in the early 90’s.  She moved back to Hong Kong after receiving her Masters Degree from Royal College of Art in London.

Carol has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong and UK.  She currently lives and works in Hong Kong.  We talk to the artist about her inspirations, views and the strangest artistic encounter.


About the Artist

Hometown: Hong Kong
Current City: Hong Kong

The creative process…

My works are mainly sourced from fashion photos and pictures of various consumer products.  Both carry hidden socio-cultural messages which promised to give viewers a better appearance and life style; an age-old debate on feminist theories.  Apart from that, the appealing designs of these pictures also bring an amusing aesthetic pleasure to viewers.  Through my works I attempt to dissolve the symbolic relations of the referents in the original pictures by smashing-up and integrating the visual elements to bring forth a sense of ambiguity.

Source of inspiration…

Electronic music/ Ukiyo-e prints, especially the works of Kunisada and Hiroshige. Good books and movies, art, fashion and design magazines, Japanese manga, photography books.

Carol Ho - Miss Diu, 2012

Miss Diu, 2012

The vivid colours…

It is impossible to avoid colours when one is living in a visually intense city like Hong Kong. And this specific art element is my response to my visual experience.

View on pop culture…

I guess it is impossible to avoid pop culture in our daily life. It is always interesting to find out why people embrace certain types of music and visual arts (in a broader range including digital, graphic, music, TV, movies, etc) or aesthetic values in specific time. I think these might reveal our social psyche.

On violence…

My early works were about domestic violence but I don’t think my recent works are violent.  I would say the images in my recent paintings are strong and not visually pleasing, some people might find my works challenging and hard to look at.

Carol Ho - Swing for Love

Swing for Love

Strangest thing ever…

I had a déjà vu experience when I was in my early 20s. I applied for a solo exhibition in a very small gallery inside the university campus and was given half a year to prepare for it. During that time I was very stressed because of family problems and school work. One night, I dreamed I was walking in the campus gallery looking at my works; the show was so good and I was very excited. But when I woke up I couldn’t remember any of the works.  Half year passed and when I was setting up my works in the show with a friend, I suddenly realised that I had seen my works in my dream before…

The next project…

I am working on a series of A3 size paintings on wood panels and several large paintings. I am planning to invite three mid-career female painters, who I know through a joint exhibition from a few years ago, to have an in-depth discussion on figurative and representational painting.  The dialogue will be published on the internet. I hope to generate more discussion outside the art world and to inspire young painters.

By Miss Wong/ Altermodernist

Carol Ho - Smoking Head, 2013

Smoking Head, 2013

Main image: Love in the Wild, 2014

Photo credits: Carol Ho


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