Ivy Ma. Pittsburgh, USA
“I have left Hong Kong for more than a year whereas more than 400 days have passed just like that.

When I was in Hong Kong, I often told my daughter “Mom is too busy.” At the end I chose to leave, ending my work here, bidding farewell to my original life rhythm and hoping to live a life that is different from the past. We went to New York, Warsaw, Athens, Istanbul, Belgium, Paris, Amsterdam: from East to West and from South to North. I left Hong Kong, departing from everything that I am familiar with and reaching somewhere unknown. The three of us passed through unfamiliar cities like revolving lights. My heart still remembers the place that fills my soul with growing-up memories. I can’t help but miss you all.”

Tsang Chui Mei. Hong Kong

“After a while I find out that my mind is filled with memories about you. The memories are part of my youthful days and those disintegrated days. These memories will no longer trigger my emotional ups and downs. They lie quietly and peacefully in my heart and soul. However, undeniably, those were ordinary but precious days.”

Ivy Ma and Mei are well-known names in Hong Kong’s art circle. Ma and Tsang are colleagues in the Hong Kong Art School as well as good friends. They know each other for decades. Last year, Ivy left Hong Kong with her family. Like many other Hong Kong people, they left a place where they grew up and looked for new directions in a foreign land. Ivy migrates from city to city. Every day with her daughter she learns, takes pictures, does artwork, paints, reads and practises calligraphy. She begins a new life chapter.

Mei chose to stay in Hong Kong although many of her family members and friends have emigrated. She said now whenever she exchanges pleasantries with her friends invariably these will come up: “when will you leave?” “Have you resigned?” or simply throw down a sentence: “Just shout if you want to emigrate.”

This joint-exhibition is “showing love with paintings” from these two artists (and good friends).

Ivy Ma have painted, taken photographs and practises decorating art for many years. This is the first time she uses black and white photographs of birds in various countries where she has lived in response to Mei’s painting of four seasons. It is craved as well as blessings to a good friend.

These past two years in Hong Kong are years of departure and separation. A lyric “goodbye now; I am leaving” echoes loudly in different parts of the city. When farewells become a new normal, have you become numbed? Or, you ask yourself quietly: “When shall we meet again?”