For those who grew up in the 70s and 80s, the classic adult magazine and best-selling publication in Hong Kong, “Lung Fu Pao” (which translates to “Dragon, Tiger, Leopard”), holds a special place in their collective memory. The renowned local artist, Rex Koo, who is passionate about Hong Kong’s cultural heritage, has boldly taken the provocative magazine “Lung Fu Pao” as inspiration for his latest exhibition, featuring 34 fun and interconnected artworks. The exhibition, named “Snake Cat Dog” after the alias of “Lung Fu Pao”, will be held at the Gallery by the Harbour from 27 April to 21 May 2023.
Rex Koo, a homegrown artist in Hong Kong, enjoys incorporating the city’s unique cultural elements into his work, often painting and writing on themes related to Hong Kong movies and local publications. While this exhibition is inspired by “Lung Fu Pao,” it differs vastly in style. “Lung Fu Pao” is known for its bold and unrestrained approach, while “Snake Cat Dog” adopts a pure and adorable style. Rex has incorporated Hong Kong’s iconic neon light colours, using a cute and playful drawing style and comic book arrangement to create a series of captivating and playful works that excite the visual senses and transport visitors into a vibrant world full of erotic symbols and hidden meanings.
Visitors can also purchase a range of limited-edition merchandise at the exhibition, including T-shirts, pins, and zines. This allows them to take the fun back home and savour the experience long after the exhibition ends.
Transport Yourself to a Dazzling and Captivating World: 34 Enchanting Artworks to Captivate Your Imagination”
The “Snake Cat Dog” Art Show presents a collection of amazing artworks that feature snakes, cats, and dogs as the main characters. These cute and adorable depictions create a captivating microcosm of their world that may seem cute at first glance. Yet, with a touch of imagination, visitors will be transported into a vibrant world full of erotic symbols and hidden meanings, both from the inside out and the outside in. Rex’s masterful use of bright and striking hues, including tantalizing neon purples and pinks, as well as arousing mellow oranges and yellows reminiscent of dusk, creates a strong visual impact to dazzle audiences.
Each piece is intricately linked to the next, taking viewers on a journey through a vibrant and bustling city to an alluring hidden forest. Some works incorporate iconic elements of Hong Kong, such as skyscrapers and neon signs, evoking a sense of nostalgia for locals.
The opening piece of the exhibition draws inspiration from the classic French literature “Le Petit Prince”, where a boa constrictor is digesting an elephant. An excerpt from its first chapter is quoted in the exhibition statement, serving as a little hint to visitors that the artworks can be seen as seductive comics or simply cute depictions of plants and animal, depending on their mindset and perspective.
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them. They always only see what they want to see.”
— Quote from Le Petit Prince Chapter 1 by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Arranged thoughtfully, the 34 artworks are symmetrically placed on both sides of the walls, evocative of frames in a comic book. Viewing the paintings in sequence is like watching a captivating drama unfold on a small scale, from dawn to dusk, from urban landscapes to lush jungles, and from panoramic views to intricate details, while each individual frame stands alone as its own universe.
Rex Koo’s Artistic Journey from Classic Album Covers to Award-Winning Comics
With over twenty years of experience in commercial graphic design, Rex Koo has designed album covers for many renowned local singers, including Leslie Cheung, Karen Mok, Tony Leung, and Eason Chan. He has also created illustrations for international brands such as Nike, Nars, 1664 Blanc, and Adobe. Since 2013, he has shifted his focus towards personal creative projects, drawing inspiration from 1980s popular culture. He has published four art collections, all of which center around Hong Kong cinema. In 2020, he published his first graphic novel, “Strange Tales in Walled City,” and received The 14th Japan International Manga Award.
Rex enjoys exploring different media for his visual creations. “Snake, Cat, Dog” Art Show is his first show where all the works are created using acrylic on canvas. It is also his sixth solo exhibition in his ten-year career as an artist.
“Snake Cat Dog” limited-edition premiums
Visitors to the exhibition can not only appreciate the breathtaking artworks on display, but can also purchase limited-edition merchandise showcasing the lively designs from the paintings. These exclusive items include T-shirts, lapel pins, and small magazines, giving visitors the opportunity to take a piece of the fun home with them. Limited quantity while stock lasts.
“Rex Koo Art Show – Snake Cat Dog” @Harbour City
Date: 27 April 2023 – 21 May 2023
Time: 11am – 10pm
Venue: Gallery by the Harbour (Shop 207, Level 2, Ocean Centre, Harbour City)
Remarks: This exhibition is restricted to individuals who are aged 18 years and older.
About Rex Koo
Rex Koo, a Hong Kong artist, also a cat lover, an otaku and movie buff through and through with a weakness for 80s Hong Kong flicks.
Having worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for over 20 years, Rex started to create his own art since 2013. His art style is deeply influenced by pop art and pop culture in the 80s. Rex has illustrated numerous drawings about Hong Kong movies since 2016 and has already published four books with the same topic.
Apart from illustration books, Rex has also published his first graphic novel Strange Tales in Walled City and received The 14th Japan International Manga Award in 2020.
Instagram: @rexkoo (https://www.instagram.com/rexkoo/)