HerStory - Blog

This blog acts as a work archive and contains recollections and documentations of past projects, charting the development of Bettina’s practice, from its early days right to where she is at now.

So it begins

I want to have a space on the website for works I created in the past, a work archive if you will. A friend suggested creating a blog so that I could show the works and put them in context. This way people could see how my art develops through time. Being someone who is timid in writing, this feels a bit daunting, however I have taken this idea on board and will kick off this blog with writing about the beginning, not quite the very beginning but the time when I decided to take my art seriously.

Bettina Fung - I Heart Work; colour pencils on paper; 60x84cm; 2007

Bettina Fung - I Heart Work; colour pencils on paper; 60x84cm; 2007

I knew I wanted to be creating art ever since I was a child, however due to the beliefs and opinions of people in the environment I grew up in, together with the various kinds of conditioning I received as a child, this knowing was not nurtured but frowned upon. To make matters worse, I also took on their way of thinking that art was not a path to take as it is a path full of risks. I went through my school years focusing on more academic subjects. I was still studying art but was convinced by others that making art was more a side thing. I studied computer science at university as it was the practical and stable option and I was able to do it and was good at it. I then experienced a breakdown.

This breakdown became a turning point, the beginning of doing what I felt I truly needed and wanted to do in my life. I changed course to study computer animation, a mixture of computer science and art, and graduated in 2005, where my final year animated short “Sushi” was screened at festivals as well as broadcasted on a few television channels in UK and abroad. After university, I eventually found employment in a post-production company editing corporate videos and working insane hours. I was keen to create my next animated short and kept a notepad to sketch ideas in it, but the nature of that job meant that these ideas didn’t go further than a doodle. Finally coming to terms with my intense need to create something of my own and that editing was not what I solely wanted to do in life but was taking most of my time, I made what was to me then a big decision and quit - another turning point.

I seemed to have gone from picking stable and practical life options to leading a life, where uncertainties were more apparent. All I knew was that I needed to make and develop more art. It was like following a direction you were sure about but have no idea where it would take you. Confronting the unknown would eventually become a theme in the work I make.

After quitting the “proper” job, I was temping in offices and working regular hours of 9 to 5, therefore having time to work on my art projects after work and on weekends. I was pretty starved of creativity when I left so the first thing I did was to pick up a pen and just draw and it turned out that I haven’t stopped drawing since.

I love that drawing is the most immediate and direct way to make art. It is pretty much accessible to all and perhaps because of this, drawing has become the centre of my practice.  I still haven’t made my second animated short yet (I made a flipbook though), but leaving that job 8 years ago marked the beginning of my development as an artist. 

The drawings I produced then were mostly figurative, here are some of them: