This series shares my study journey as an international student in Australia and the first time that I was separated from my family and friends in Hong Kong. It documents my psychological status around expanding my comfort zone and starting to learn how to be a mature adult. It also shows the emotions and feelings of exhaustion and self-disappointment from different incidents.
In this project, my aim is to create a space where I combine my inner world and reality by presenting an animation and filling the space with collage drawings. Each of the works shares different stories while I am in Australia, such as social isolation during COVID-19, finding a part-time job, and deciding my future career, etc. The space is simulating the world from my perspective, which lets the viewers experience the feeling of isolation, depression, and anxiety through my drawings. Although most of the works are presenting the growing pressures of growing up, the viewer still could sense the humour and lovely moments within some of the drawings.
The animation, Opportunities, reflects the scenes of thinking about making some life choices for the future. I tried to imitate them by combining the shopping experiences (buying daily objects) and decision-making in the human mind. The green and red sodas which appear in the video represent the opportunities that we found. On the other hand, the coins represent the boundaries that limit and affect your choices, such as time, money, personality, personal abilities, etc. While facing this situation, most people would try to pick the best option by comparing their advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately, as Benjamin Franklin said ‘you may delay but time will not’. People, who have difficulty making quick decisions, will spend too much time on convincing themselves and doubting their choices. The lost time is never found again, therefore they lose their opportunities in the end. Though in the video, there would be a second chance for people to buy the soda in the future, making this little mistake doesn’t seem like a big deal. However, if we keep continuing this bad habit, the drawbacks of losing opportunities might affect the future seriously.
Man Yi Wong, Opportunity, 2022, animation (2m 30s).
The artwork, Diary 2019 – 2022, is a series of digital drawings which document the psychological status during my study journey in Australia. In this trip, I have learned a lot from mistakes, so I could state this period is part of the growing process from teenagers to young adults. As in Asian culture, I was a spoiled child who was always protected by my parents when I was young. Before coming to Australia, I imagined the trip would be wonderful and go smoothly. However, the reality was nothing near what I expected. I needed to learn how to take care of myself without the help from my family and make lots of decisions for the future. I was lost and starting to doubt the decision of being an international student, especially the isolation from society during COVID-19 and the fear of making relationships with others when everything was back on track. However, I understand it was a part of the learning process after conversation with my parents. Also, I learned that trying to get up from where you tripped down and avoiding the same mistakes in the future. In addition, finding something that excites you in life is also important for motivating yourself to move on.
Man Yi Wong is a Hong Kong based artist who works mainly in illustrations. Man Yi completed the RMIT foundation course in Art, Design and Architecture in 2019. Man Yi is studying the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) in RMIT as an international student. She participated in the Rhythm of Color painting II group exhibition in 2016.
Principal themes in Man Yi’s work are human emotions and feelings. She tries to express them through her art with personal experiences or short interviews from others. Also, she loves to draw some quick sketches to share her daily life, and create some surreal paintings to simulate the scenes from her dreams.