編按：曾任澳洲布里斯本市長的 David Hinchliffe 轉型做藝術，上月來港出席藝博會「 Affordable Art Fair」，以下為他出席活動時的紀錄。
David Hinchliffe, former Brisbane politician and one of the best-selling artists of the Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong (17-20 May 2018), had the highlight of his day as he jammed live painting with a local dancer in support of the #ForArtsSake Friday charity evening.
"For 25 years, I was a politician and deputy mayor of Brisbane," says the artist, who studied fine art in the early 1970's before pursuing a career in politics in 1988. "Political decisions affect everyone, and we need to get good people into politics. However, the political process is frustrating." Tired and disillusioned, David decided to retire from politics and switch back to painting, his first passion, in 2012.
As if to make up for the lost time, during the past six years he has painted fervently with quick, impressionistic brushstrokes and managed to create a painting every day. His canvases of Hong Kong capture shapes of shimmering skyscrapers, moving double-decker trams, kissing lovers and sentimental umbrellas as rain romantically melts them with light, shadow and reflections.
Alongside his penchant for rainy-day urban streetscapes, he also paints Hong Kong's greenbelt which grabs many city dwellers here. "I feel immersed in the forest trail, imagine myself walking in the painting," says local buyer Sophie, explaining why she fell for her purchase - Tai Po Kau Forest Trail - at first sight.
The blissful artist admits that he is encouraged by so many art lovers who resonate with his work. To make his art a guaranteed sell-out, he and his gallery would purposefully cap the price of each painting under AUD 10,000 (HKD 60,000).
Unlike many struggling artists who barely make a living, David enjoys the luxury of crisscrossing around the globe, travelling and painting while renting art studios in New York, London, and Hong Kong to paint his works before his sell-out shows. Many of his Hong Kong series were created inside his home studio at Wood Road, Wanchai.
"I own the Suzie Wong painting drawn by William Holden inside the movie," the artist proudly unveils the reason for his deep emotional attachment to Hong Kong and Wanchai in particular. "The romantic classic, The World of Suzie Wong (1960) was filmed roughly the same time that my dad, Bruce Hinchliffe, as a journalist stationed in Hong Kong." The £100 Suzie Wong painting, bought by David in 1976 in a London Gallery, is now kept in Bruce's place in Brisbane.
"Some 50 years later Hong Kong still exudes the fast pace and the dynamic flavour of multiculturalism," David added. With a studio in Wanchai, the thriving artist has promised to come back and capture more and more of Hong Kong on canvas.