My Picture of Hong Kong
29-year-old Syrus (Kwan Siu-fung) grew up in a single-parent family and dreams of becoming a designer. Despite being a self-proclaimed expert at drawing, he failed miserably in his HKCEE for Art/Design and Technology. Nonetheless, he was eventually accepted into a high diploma programme at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design.
In 2005, Syrus’s mother left her job as an overnight waitress at a nightclub, where she had worked for a decade, and flew to the US alone in pursuit of her own dreams. Syrus, who was 18 at the time, had to look after his little sister who was still in primary school, living the total opposite of a normal college life. His teacher’s comments about his drawings being too childish left the hopeful Syrus discouraged. In the six years since his graduation, he has worked three different jobs, none of which were really related to design. However, through gaining experience at these positions, his dream of creation began to slowly develop.
In 2011, Syrus rushed to establish his own brand of designer t-shirts before the rumoured arrival of Armageddon. However, due to miscalculations on his part, they did not sell as well as anticipated, rendering his dream into a nightmare.
On his 27th birthday in 2013, Syrus, who was living on his own, decided to pick up his pencil once more. Using just simple black lines, he drew his first ever self-portrait while overlooking Hong Kong, the city which he was soon leaving, on The Peak. He became more and more enthusiastic under encouragement and began drawing the familiar characters and local landmarks around him, documenting the places of the metropolis he grew up in with his pencil. He then made a video about his dream and uploaded it to an online fundraising platform. With the capital he gathered, he held exhibitions, developed different products, and shared the journey of pursuing his dreams with students…
Many people say that one cannot make a living from drawing, but fortunately, his mother also has a love for chasing dreams. While he is drawing in the middle of the night, Syrus works as a full-time pastry chef. He enjoys cooking and ultimately dreams of opening a theme restaurant decorated with his own artwork.
While others may be envious about the fact that he will soon be reunited with his mother and sister in the US, Syrus actually yearns to stay. He firmly believes that he will be back one day to realise his dream.