My name is Alexandra Yan Wong. I am an artist working primarily in the medium of painting. I was born and raised in Hong Kong but I’m now based in London. I moved here for university and had a short stint living in Berlin as well, before returning to the U.K.
I studied German literature and philosophy, and these topics have lingered and shaped a lot of what I do now. Jung’s theory on the unconscious is something I often come back to and will be exploring for the foreseeable future.
Despite always maintaining that I wanted to be an artist, I had stopped painting altogether when I started university. When I was furloughed during the pandemic, I picked it back up just to kill time at first. I eventually took the plunge, quit my corporate job and made art my full-time career. I can’t say this one experience has shaped me the most; but it’s definitely one in recent memory that has propelled me forward in terms of personal growth.
As an artist, my creative expression is at the core of my being. It's where my feelings, thoughts, and ideas merge into something tangible. A lot of it comes from human connection, be it shared experiences, conversations or fleeting encounters. Equally important is my time in solitude - I’m an introvert and when I’m alone, I find solace and inspiration.
Materiality is a big part of my practice. My work consists of layers of paint, paper, lime and other filler and adhesive medium. The infinitude of this practice is forgiving and liberating. Since there is no end goal for a painting, things cannot go wrong; if I do not like the arrangement, I can cover up the surface and start again. To be within the confines of the canvas but without the constraints of a predetermined outcome; that is where my thoughts find form.
Last month I left my 20s behind. It was quite anti-climatic. I thought I would have accomplished more by now and be more established. But I’m working hard on letting this belief go, at least not let it influence me in a counterproductive way. Nothing is perfect. Sometimes good enough is good enough.
I usually feel most beautiful in the morning right after I have washed my face (laughs) . I love LESSE’s Ritual Serum. I have reactive skin, so my skincare routine has historically been long and complex. It’s nice to have a serum that nourishes and calms my skin. Less is more.
You realize as you get older that the world is not perfect. I started to appreciate the beauty in vulnerability and the resilience that arises from struggles. I suppose it was also my way to self-soothe, and allow myself to view me as beautiful.
In my work, there are often broad calligraphic strokes juxtaposed against geometric shapes. Instead of focusing on the contrast between the fluidity and rigidity of this dualistic nature, the overlapping of layers reveal an organic process in reconciling past and present traditions and beliefs. This is a stillness and calm brought about by resolution, and that is beauty to me. Beyond the canvas, it's the nuanced moments, the subtle details, and the stories etched within the mundane. It's the imperfections, the harmony and the interconnectedness of all things.