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Art & Culture

Flabjacks “WELCOME HOME” Art Exhibition @Harbour City

20 Jun, 2023

Wander into the weird imaginary world of Flabjacks, where you can meet chubby friendly folk and embark on a journey to discover what makes a place feel like home. Flabjacks “WELCOME HOME” Art Exhibition, the first solo exhibition in Hong Kong of HK-born artist Ton Mak, is held at Gallery by the Harbour from 21 June to 16 July 2023, curated by William Chan Design. This exhibition features not only 29 acrylic paintings with 2 brand new characters in a vibrant and carefree style, but also merchandise limited to the exhibition including bespoke art toys, artist collection blanket, and tote bags. What’s more, a 4m-tall wood sculpture of the cheerful pink dinosaur is awaiting at the gallery to guide you through the fantastical world of Flabjacks!

Born in Hong Kong but raised nomadically across several continents, Flabjacks’ creator Ton Mak sees Hong Kong as her original home away from home. Having gained fame across the globe, it makes this first solo exhibition in Hong Kong especially meaningful. Many paintings in this exhibition are Ton’s latest artworks making their debut. Two brand new characters that hold special significance for Ton – the Dinosaur developed during her pregnancy and the Tiger representing her infant son – are also making their first appearances at this upcoming exhibition.

As Ton’s imagination runs wild, fingers are dressed up as a cactus, a pickle, or a bottle of hot sauce and come to life in the most whimsical ways, all of which can be glimpsed in the new Funny Fingers series. Among all the artworks in this exhibition, Ton’s favourite is Most Special, which depicts a chunky tiger relaxedly exploring the forest at night. Ton spent most time in 2022 in creating this artwork. “It feels like there is still so much to be explored and that there are many more adventures that await for this tiger pal,” said Ton. In addition to Most Special, Baller is an accidental favourite for her. It portrays a cheerful dinosaur baller holding its basketball and conveys a sense of simple happiness. As a completely unplanned artwork, Ton feels like it is some form of “happy coincidence” and fell in love with it at first sight.

Funny Fingers Series
Most Special

Not only can visitors find peace and serenity at the exhibition, but they can also purchase limited edition premiums that evoke homely coziness. Merchandise exclusive to the exhibition, including bespoke art toy of Banana Boo “SIT+RELAX”, artist collection blanket imprinted with Most Special, and “WELCOME HOME” themed tote bag, will be available for sale while stock lasts.

Artist Collection Blanket "Most Special”

Homely Comforts in Little Things that We May Overlook

Being away from Hong Kong since the age of 8, Ton has lived in several cities including Auckland, Bristol, and San Francisco. With Hong Kong being her hometown, “home” remains an ambiguous concept for her. Despite the huge difference in the culture and cityscape among these cities, she finds echoes of “home” in moments of peace surrounded by nature, something that can be found anywhere on the planet. Through her artworks focusing on non-manmade environments, such as night forests and starry skies, she hopes to share a sense of home that resonates with everyone.

In Flabjacks world, home is way more than just an address. Instead, it can be found everywhere and anywhere, up in the skies, in daydreams, or through friendly conversations, with no real boundaries as to what it really entails. During her latest visit to Hong Kong, she finds homely comforts in all the smallest things, such as a dim sum dish, a bus stop sign, a 90s pop song, all making her feel nostalgic.

Flabjacks Spreading Joy and Happiness Across the Globe

Starting off as escapist doodles like many people prone to do in boring classes or meetings, Flabjacks has evolved into a fully formed world of its own with easily recognizable chubby, red-lipped characters. In this enchanting animist world full of vitality, everything has a soul, no matter if it is a flower, a planet, or a grassy hill.

Flabjacks has been spreading positivity around the world with more than 15 solo exhibitions in cities including Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, and Manila. The artist has also collaborated with various world-renowned brands, such as Nike, Swatch, Pop Mart, Apple, and Gucci, featuring her signature style of artworks filled with heart-warming scenes and characters.

“Pang Pang Market” Exhibition, Nanjing, 2019
“Lovely Day” Exhibition, Guangzhou, 2019
Nike x Flabjacks “Free Expression” Series
Pop Mart x Flabjacks Banana Boo Fantastic Galactic Series

Flabjacks “WELCOME HOME” Art Exhibition
Date: 21 June 2023 – 16 July 2023
Time: 11am – 10pm
Venue: Gallery by the Harbour (Shop 207, Level 2, Ocean Centre, Harbour City)