Ko Nam has a unique style blending Chinese ink brush painting with impressionism. His landscapes are characterised by myriad colourful dots, fine yet distinct strokes while the women depicted by him are carefree, passionate and happy. His works which are highly rated have been shown in many international exhibitions in China, other parts of Asia, Europe and United States, such as International VSA Arts Festival in Washington D.C., Henderson ArtReach Project, Painting and International Festival of Inclusive Arts. There are also many international art collectors of his works.
Born in Chengdu China, Ko lost his hearing when he was three. Despite his inability to hear and speak, he expresses his view of the world through his ink and colour paintings which he learned from a number of renowned Chinese artists such as Cen Xue Gong, Luo Ci Bing and Mou Kang Hua.
Ko Nam moved to Hong Kong in 1994 and had his solo exhibition in Hong Kong in 1995, 2000, 2008 and 2016. He came first in the Hong Kong Abilympics in 2007 and represented Hong Kong in the International Abilympics in Japan. In 2009, he received an Outstanding Award at the Chinese Calligraphy and Painting Competition for the disabled in China. In Sept 2011, he won the gold medal of the painting category in the 8th International Abilympics in Seoul with a work entitled "Flowers and Passion".
His newfound passion is ceramic paintings where he created several series of paintings on ceramic articles on site in Jingdezhen, the famous ceramic capital in China.
Liu Tung Mui
Affected by her elder sister during childhood, LIU Tung-mui loves to draw randomly with pencil. She likes to tell story with her pictures despite her limitation of hand movements. LIU once felt dejected about being lonely and helpless sitting on a wheelchair, and was almost mentally broken down. A box of color pencil and encouragement from her family helped her see the wonderful and colorful world outside the window of her cramped room in her mind. She no longer feels lonely now because every time after she exhausts all her effort on her painting, she feels incomparably happy and contented.
Over the past two years, Tung-mui has been practicing calligraphy and sketching hardly, which has led to a better control of her hand muscles and thus finer brushstrokes in her paintings. Although each piece of paintings demands her more effort and time, she opens up a new page for her art creation.
She believes these various art forms have enriched her overall creativity. LIU pointed out that doing calligraphy helps improve her line precision, dancing enhances her non-verbal communication skills, whereas learning pottery sharpens her observation and improves her spatial skills in painting.
Lee Wai Ba
Lee Wai Ba was born in Hong Kong in 1971. At the age of one, he was diagnosed with congenital spinal muscular atrophy and had been wheelchair bound since then. Due to the debilitating disease, he had lost all self care ability and required the constant care of his family.
By 1990, his condition had deteriorated so much that his family could no longer provide him with the requisite care. He was then placed in one of the hostels for the severely disabled operated by Hong Kong Spastics Association and worked in one of their sheltered workshop.
Wai Ba was initially tasked with painting ceramics at the workshop. Subsequently, upon encouragement of his instructor who found that he had artistic talent, Wai Ba started drawing cat themed paintings. At the outset, he did an extensive research on cats, observing their different shapes and forms and worked hard on his drawing skills, which gradually evolved into the cartoon cats in an illustration called "Happy to Be There". As regards color selection, Wai Ba liked using vibrant contrasts so that his audience could feel the joy and fun of his works.
However, the deterioration of his hand muscles had become so severe that by 2004, he was no longer able to paint with his hands. His passion for painting was nevertheless not at all dented by such impediment. Since then, he started drawing with his mouth. It was extremely difficult at first, but with his irrepressible perseverance, he eventually overcame the challenges and was adept at drawing with his mouth.
In 2009, he was awarded first prize in the open category of the "Love Your Family" Painting Competition organized by Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited which boosted his self confidence. Since then, in order to live a more fulfilling life, he used his cat characters to depict topical issues or different aspects of life in Hong Kong on an 80-foot-long scroll titled “ Every Day a Wonderful Day” after watching the daily morning news. This daily ritual persisted until 2021 when he was too ill to draw.
Wai Ba passed away in 2021 after a brief illness. Although we can no longer see his new works on the scroll, his irrepressible perseverance and spirit of never giving up remain in our hearts forever.