Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Birth of a Hero: Exhibition of Ma Wing Shing's Comic Works at Comix Home Base

Large banners and a life-sized statue of a comic hero
greet visitors to the Comix Home Base

Currently on show there is The Birth of a Hero --

A comic style figure of Ma Shing Wing
on display at Comix Home Base

In recent months, there've been quite a few Hollywood movies getting screened in Hong Kong (as well as other parts of the world) that have comic book superhero protagonists.  While not generally a fan of comic books or movies with comic book superheroes in them, I feel like I've checked out my share over the years -- and ones from Hong Kong as well as the US and Britain too.
Although I've never see any manhua by Ma Wing Shing, his name and work is not unfamiliar to me -- because, among other things, I've seen The Storm Riders and A Man Called Hero.  And while I have to be honest and state that I didn't care for both those movies, I also didn't hold it against the creator of those film's characters -- feeling that the filmmakers were more to blame for the movies being not to my liking.
Knowing that his work is highly thought of by manhua enthusiasts, I figured it'd be interesting to go have a look at an exhibition at the newly opened Comix Home Base of the work of the man who has been called the Godfather of Hong Kong Comics.  Having done so this past weekend, I have to say that I'm really glad I did -- because the exhibition has a lot of interesting items on display, and exhibits them in a manner that shows them off very well indeed. 

Occupying at least three floors of the Comix Home Base, The Birth of a Hero - Exhibition of Ma Wing Shing's Comic Works includes several of Ma's illustrations and, also, paintings and three-dimensional renditions of his works, most of them miniature but at least one of which is life-sized (or actually even slightly larger than life-sized).

The paintings are colorful and interesting but, to my eyes, the ink illustrations are on another level altogether -- and so wonderful that I have no qualms thinking of them as very impressive artworks.  In addition, while many of them are great enough as stand-alone works, what makes the exhibition all the more special is that several of the ink illustrations are displayed as a series that shows how a particular comic panel goes over several steps and stages from rough draft to super detailed finished work.
For those of this blog's readers who are based in Hong Kong or are going to be visiting here in the near future, do note that this exhibition runs through to October 20 at Comix Home Base.  And yes, admission is free -- and, frankly, would be worth it even if you had to pay the standard HK$10 (~US$1.30) Hong Kong museum fee! :)

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