Artist of the Month-August-Simon Birch

This month's AoM is Simon Birch. Mr. Birch is one of Hong Kong's most well known and vocal members of the Visual Art community. He's lived in Hong Kong for seventeen years and isn't afraid to speak out about the issues he and other artists have in trying to make their living as an artist: lack of venue space, lack of government support, the excessive amount of red tape artists have to jump through to get project approval, anon and anon... You may have read his recent feature in the SCMP where he talked about leaving Hong Kong, but he made a clarifying statement later on his Facebook page that he's not leaving HK forever, but rather taking some time to focus on overseas projects. For these reasons, we are happy to feature Simon as Artist of the Month for August. 


Know someone who is making wonderful art in Hong Kong? Nominate them for Artist of the Month!


1. Name, Birthplace, Age
Simon Birch, Brighton, UK, 1974


2. How does where you were raised affect your work?
To the same degree as it does for anyone else. I moved a lot, around UK, to Australia and Hk for the last 15 years, every place has played a significant part in my evolution as an artist and a person, including places I've spent temporary time in, Iceland, America,'s a long list.

3. Where did you train?
The only formal education I've had is a recent MFA, just a couple of years ago. Up until then I'd only had a pretty pathetic record at school until I was 17.

4. What is your favorite style of art? Why?
No preference at all but predominantly I make oil paintings and drawings as they are the most direct, rather than film or sculpture which often require resources, planning and collaboration. But when it comes to appreciation, I like any art that engages, from the sparsest conceptual work to massive rich old paintings. I'm often surprised at my own taste.

5. What was the best art show you EVER saw?
Nara and Graf, 'A to Z' at the Yoshii Brick Beer House. Unpretentious,magical, honest. Really made me think more about immersive installation work and helped inspire my project, Hope and Glory.

6. What was the best art show in HK you EVER saw? (You cannot say your own.)
Looking for Antonio Mak. A beautiful group show organised at the Museum of Art in TST. One of the only contemporary art projects they've ever had there.

7.What piece of work are you the most proud of?
The next one.

 The Chopper, Oil on canvas, 300x200cm, 2014

8. What is your process like?
Laborious, challenging but very enjoyable. I photograph models (usually friends), thousands of photos. From these select elements, combine them, photoshop edit, then make drawings, then transfer the drawings to canvas then multiple layers of paint. Half of the finished works end up in the trash.

9. What is your dream project?
The one I'm trying to realise right now, a 100,000 square foot installation in the middle of NYC.

10. If you could change one thing about the art scene in HK, what would it be?
What art scene?*
*Please read this statement with your sarcasm glasses on.


  • Cathy Tsui
    01 August 2014

    Is it just me or does this guy come across as a jerk?
  • Jim Feldman
    01 August 2014

    Is there any way to get an autographed copy of the pic with the sunglasses?
  • Bollocks
    01 August 2014

    This guy's "art" is crap. And he is prat. Total prat.
  • Me
    05 August 2014

    Yup, this guy is a wanker

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