As a product of food-obsessed Hong Kong, it’s no surprise that artist Esther Chow has developed a passion for gastronomy and the desire to express this on canvas. A Fine Arts graduate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chow sees painting as an opportunity for her eyes to “eat”, capturing the fleeting beauty of the edible creations in an evocative manner.
In an upcoming solo exhibition to be held in November, each piece has arisen from her fascination with the variety of colour, form and texture of certain combinations; hybrids between the natural and the man-made. Chow sees food as a way to connect to nature, or perhaps our only access to nature living in a city.
Chow also plays with perception and scale to dramatic effect. Her three-by-four foot series on fried rice come emblazoned with shrimp painted the size of a person’s head. For the artist, it’s a tribute to food as an expression of affection, a marker of memories, and a source of imagination. Her work is an effort to strike a balance – keeping a tension between serious brushstrokes and the humour within. Food, Chow believes, should be a fun and joyful experience.