When asked to describe himself, Martin Hong says he is extreme, experimental and insecure. His style? Ugly, with a persistent grotesqueness that seems to pervade his subject matter.
Currently a student at NTU’s ADM, he cites visual artists such as Francis Bacon, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and James Jean, and film-makers like Wong Kar Wai, Michel Gondry and Darren Aronofsky as his major influences. However, Wong Kar Wai’s 2046 is his all-time favourite piece of work as it sparked off his interest in film-making, and opened up the doors of visual expression as a means to communicate ideas.
From top : 1. Day and Night 2. Space Out (Short Film)
Since a young age, Martin has been obsessed with art and he counts himself fortunate to have supportive parents who allow him to pursue this interest, allowing him opportunities to meddle in various mediums, from drawing to film-making and digital illustration. And we see his experience and understanding of the creation process as well as his own thought process when he mentions how every medium has its own strengths and shortcomings.
When he says that art making is a form of catharsis, we realise how deep Martin’s connection to art really is:
“I realised how dependent I was in using art to cope with the struggles that seemed too big for me to handle at certain points in my life. It sounds abstractly existential but in summary, art has been the only thing that has kept me going.”
Sharing about his first dabble in filming for an assigment, he recalls how it was a complete disaster, but a very valuable learning process about film-making. Though he is currently working hard on school projects, he still generates ideas for future projects, one of which he hopes to present a fairy-tale dealing with the paradox of love. Acknowledging that film is a very collaborative medium, he looks forward to collaborating with visual artists and musicians who share similar passions as he does.
Giving his two cents to budding artists, he shares something that he lives by: “Keep dreaming and believing in yourself, because if you don’t, no one else would.”