Works by David Sheekwan
唐先生穿著一件紅色風褸坐在冷色調的房間中，頭帶著針織冷帽，墨鏡雖然遮著半張臉，但皮膚還是十分溫潤細緻，稜角分明的嘴唇帶著笑意。 唐先生主動和我握手，聽著我對遲到的解釋，還和藹地安慰我：“不要緊的，你這麼忙也來見我，我實在很高興。”聲音低沉且磁性，很有味道，突然他又好奇地問我：“你口罩的好特別，是布料嗎？可以洗的吧？” 當下我想，如果賈寶玉沒出大觀園，等他上了年紀，大概就是這個樣子吧。
我雖然孤陋寡聞，但也非常幸運，由於和他的親戚比較熟，後來便有機會去看他的畫和聽他的故事。唐書琨祖籍雲南，香港出生，被譽為香港第一代的時尚教父，本想當建築師的他心血来潮，去了美國學習陶瓷和繪畫。 回港後，創立自己的時尚王國David＆David，不但立足香港，甚至在紐約和巴黎也有專門店。 他設計的布藝大膽又前衛，讓歐美的時尚品牌趨之若鶩，為得到他的設計不計成本。 此外，他還為香港的時尚產業培訓了不少人才，現時手屈一指的設計師馬偉明、張叔平、區丁平等也曾在他麾下工作。 八十年代他開始投資電影《愛殺》，其女主角是光芒初現的林青霞。 唐先生以自己名字David sheekwan作品牌包括時裝、美容用品。
我最愛聽的逸事是唐先生在香港麗晶酒店咖啡廳一邊吃著為他特製的龍蝦三文治，一邊會見一波又一波的客戶或朋友，當時大家都喚他唐老板， 穿著阿瑪尼套裝的唐書琨和城中名人茶聚的情形就是那個璀璨都市當時最酷的風景。 那些實在約不上的人就會去當年希爾頓酒店的摩羅街或唐先生開的D&D餐廳碰踫運氣，看看能否和他說上幾句話。
唐先生在六十歲左右重返校園，學習攝影，在差不多七十多歲八十歲時重拾畫筆。 他的第一張油畫是個爬滿過千隻螞蟻的人體，他說當時想試練一下自己耐性和定力。 這是他唯一一張稍為具像的作品。
唐氏非常擅長把深沉的顏色，例如：灰、黑、藍、墨綠等，細膩地鋪排在畫面上，冷色調在他的調度下，竟示現既平和又可親的氛圍。 佇立在他的作品前，耳邊仿佛傳聽見來自無際的天地間一聲聲寂靜又空靈的迴響， 讓人回歸到暗黑和溫暖的母體裡，放下意見繁多的頭腦，純粹地覺知著寧靜和能量； 甚至願意成為畫中的一個份子，浪蕩在既沒有開始，也不會結束的時空中，不再害怕失去，更不渴求獲取；當然再也不需理解何謂迷失和方向，因為宇宙中必然為你預留了你存在的位置。
在網上找到1982年香港5月《號外》的訪問，鄧小宇問唐書琨，有一天他會不會懷念生命中美好的東西，例如：天才、成功、live well, 唐書琨的回應道：這些都是表面的東西，失去了也不足惜，他一直尋求著心靈上的安寧。
而我，感恩宇宙的安排，遇見了最完美的幻像綜合體 —— 唐書琨，透過他的經歷，他的藝術創作，讓我在幻像和夢境之間，窺見了一點點真相。
It has been less than half a year since I met Mr. David Sheekwan Tong. It was the 30th day of the 2020 Lunar Year of the Rat. Due to repeated revisions of plan by a client, when I arrived at the hotel where David stayed, I was almost two hours late.
Mr. Tong was wearing a red windbreaker and was sitting in a cool-colour toned room with a knit cap on his head. Although his sunglasses covered half of his face, his moist and delicate skin can still be seen. His angular lips were smiling. Mr. Tong took the initiative to shake hands with me, listening to my explanation of being late, and comforting me kindly: "It doesn't matter, I'm really glad that you come to see me despite the fact that you being busy." His voice was low and magnetic, somewhat flavourful. Suddenly he asked me curiously: "Your mask is so special. Is it fabric? Can you wash it?" At that moment, I thought, if Jia Baoyu (main character of the Chinese literature classic “Dream of the Red Chamber”) hadn't left Daguanyuan, he would have probably looked like this in old age.
Since I was too late, Mr. Tong has already made an appointment with relatives for a Lunar New Year’s Eve dinner. We only talked for half an hour. Before leaving, he gave me a few catalogues of his artworks, one of which was the last one he has.
Despite my ignorance, I was fortunate to have met Mr. Tong thanks to a close friend who is his relative, and have the opportunity to see his paintings and listen to his stories. Mr. Tong’s family originally came from Yunnan but he was born in Hong Kong. Known as the first generation of fashion godfather in Hong Kong, he wanted to be an architect initially. But acting on a whim, he decided to go to the United States to study ceramics and painting. After returning to Hong Kong, he founded his own fashion kingdom, David & David. The firm is not only based in Hong Kong, but also has specialty stores in New York and Paris. The fabrics he designed are bold and avant-garde, making European and American fashion brands eager to obtain his designs at all cost. In addition, he has also trained many talents for Hong Kong's fashion industry. The current leading designers Walter Ma, William Chang and Tony Ao have also worked under him. In the 1980s, he invested in the movie "Love Massacre", whose heroine is Brigitte Lin who was beginning to display her talents. Mr. Tong used his name David Sheekwan as his brand including fashion and beauty products.
My favourite anecdotes of Mr. Tong happened at the Hong Kong Regent Hotel’s cafe where he used to meet customers or friends while eating lobster sandwich especially made for him. At that time, everyone called him Boss Tong. I can easily imagine David Sheekwan in an Armani suit, having tea gatherings with celebrities in town. Such a scenery must have been one of the most fashionable events in that splendid city at the time. Those who couldn't make an appointment might have tried their luck in the Hilton Hotel at Morro Street or the D&D restaurant opened by Mr. Tong to see if they could talk to him.
Such an heavenly person also acts with the utmost affection and sentiments. Once he promised his relatives to attend a wedding and he drove from New York to San Francisco for several days without sleeping. When his mother was sick, he left all his work at hand without hesitation just to attend to her sickbed.
Listening to these stories, Mr. Tong sometimes would just respond nonchalantly, saying "Isn’t it." Then he exhaled a puff of cigarette lightly, and gracefully flicked the ashes of the menthol cigarette.
Talking with Mr. Tong is truly a pleasure. His humble and courteous attitude and graceful demeanour are simply fascinating. When discussing artistic works, his eyes would flash with purity and clarity, telling you straightforwardly, "When I paint, my brain is empty and I don't think about anything. If I can explain it clearly, art will not exist at all."
Mr. Tong returned to school around the age of 60 to learn photography, and regained his paint brushes when he was almost 80 years old. His first oil painting was a human body covered with more than a thousand ants. He said that he wanted to try his patience and concentration. This is his only relatively configurative work.
David Sheekwan’s works, be they photography, Chinese ink painting or oil painting, are basically profound, simple and abstract, making it impossible to associate the dazzling life of his earlier years. There is no trace of anything worldly in them, but rather, they highlight an indescribable sense of “Profundity”.
Mr. Tong is very skilled at arranging deep and cold colours, such as grey, black, blue, and dark green, on the canvas delicately. Under his arrangement, the cold colours actually present a peaceful and amiable atmosphere. Standing in front of his works, one seems to hear a quiet and ethereal echo from the boundless world, which leads people back to the dark and warm mother body, putting aside the mind of opinions, and be purely aware of the tranquility and energy. One would even be willing to be a particle of the painting, wandering in time and space that has neither a beginning nor end. One is longer fear to lose anything, nor is there any desire for gain. And then of course there is no more need to understand what is lost and direction, simply because the universe has unquestionably reserved a place for every being.
I found an interview of Mr. Tong in the "City Magazine" in Hong Kong in May 1982. The author Peter Dunn Siu Yue asked him if he would miss the alluring things in life one day, such as genius, success, and ‘live well” lifestyle. Mr. Tong responded that these were all superficial. It would not be a pity to lose things like these. However, peace of mind, was something he has been seeking.
I especially enjoy hearing Mr. Tong’s inadvertent “Isn’t it”, as if the kingdom of fashion built by him has never existed, just like a phantom in the smoke ring that he so gently breathed out, and gone with the wind without leaving a trace. He is the most qualified person to tell you that the glamorous colours, the fine clothes, the fame and the good fortune that are attached to the illusions are mostly a dream.
And I, grateful for the fortunate encounter by the universe, have met the perfect phantasm. Through his experiences and artistic creation, I catch a glimpse of truth between illusion and dream.
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