What are you doing in your early twenties? Getting out of college? Settling in a stable career path? Things were a little different for Rolland Cheung – The founder and artist of Agape Resin Art.
The young artist has poured his heart into the love of art and life, created his own brand out of zero. Let’s learn more about his story below.
Ever since he was young, he was in love with art and creations, so he opted for a path in design and architecture studies after high school. After graduating, he started his career in an Architecture firm and stayed there for two years until he realized he wanted to pursue further studies in art.
It has always been his dream to be able to study abroad, to be immersed in an environment with lots of inspirations, hence he would be able to find his calling – a medium that could express his artistic vision the best.
Under the support from his father knowing that he would like to study further in art abroad, he quit his full-time job and started looking for admission information of schools in the UK.
One of the worst things happened after he has gotten the offer from the school, he realized they could not afford the big fee of studying abroad.
That was the time when Rolland hits his low. The struggling artist quit his full-time job, with a heart wanting to dive into learning more about art, however, reality has pulled him back from his dream. Rolland was determined to get an art degree, even if the fact is he now has to continue his studies in Hong Kong.
It was a year until school starts, the struggling artist was feeling aimless while his career was on pause and his academic journey is not yet to kick start.
“I hate to stop, I don’t like it when everybody around me was heading to work every day in the morning while I was sleeping until noon and woke up without a goal every day. I can’t stand it.”
This is when he decided to start experimenting with every possibility he could find and look for his perfect medium to express his artistic visions.
Close to where his home was, there was a nearby industrial district where people would throw away wood pieces from crates. That is how he got started on Agape’s first project – a recycled wood stool.
While we would wonder how Agape evolved from a woodwork brand to focusing on resin art, it turns out it was another coincidence or as Rolland describes it as a destiny.
During the last month before school starts, he came across resin material. He was captivated by the nature of this liquid, such flowy properties and high luster upon hardening. It was a material that resonates with the beauty of water – the origin of life.
Finally, Rolland has found the medium that could deliver his style and artistic vision, and that is resin.
When he discovered resin materials, he knows it was his calling. Then he started mixing the clear material with colours and creating flowy strokes on them, now it has become his signature.
Rolland then started taking multiple chances of exhibitions and bazaars in town, big or small.
Just like every artist starting their own brand, the start was never easy. He had been through a Christmas market with zero sales, an outdoor exhibition during one of the worst typhoon season of Hong Kong.
It was all considered challenges for him to grow stronger along with Agape, as every challenge is a blessing in disguise, they are something Rolland always cherishes.
It has been three years since Agape started. While the meaning of the brand was something he got asked a lot. Rolland explained the meaning of the brand name as well as the logo below.
“Due to my religious background, I consider this brand a form of love for God. The logo consists of multiple animals that have different meanings in one’s completed life. It starts with Lion: Glory, Sheep: Human, Humble ones, Seal: Sense of shelter, Eagle: Goals to fly high, Pigeon: Peace. I would like to express the love for life with Agape.”
From the jobless twenty-something to now a renowned artist who has been invited to Maison de Objects as one of the exhibitors, Rolland keeps reminding us the one thing that is his main vision – “I love to share and I think the most important thing as an artist can do is to share your vision with as many people as possible.”
It was his attitude towards sharing and selflessness that brings him every opportunity that he has to become what he is at to this day.
It has been three years, Agape has been one of the most well-known representatives of Hong Kong art and design – as the first-ever Resin Art brand in Hong Kong. Rolland has been collaborating with multiple organizations and even the Taiwan National Palace Museum. He was commissioned to create resin arts that resembles the Green Jade Cabbage. While the aesthetic and iridescent quality of one of the most signature treasures of the palace could be perfectly presented with this versatile material. They collaborated with the CROZ a Taiwanese camera brand, created the official souvenir from the National Palace Museum with the signature piece – the Green Jade Cabbage’s green and white ombre resin case.
We asked Rolland as an “one-man brand artist”, how would he balance between business and art. He expressed the fact that he considered his business operations going on two sides, the first one is the commercial commission jobs he gets from property companies, big corporations.
The second one is the part that gives back to society, like CSR workshop with non-governmental organizations. He said it might be related to his religious belief, or partly just what he feels like to able to share the vision of something he truly believes in during the journey of art creations –
“Art is Life.”
To this day, Agape has still been creating resin art pieces that resonate with life and the passion for living. It has been a journey of connecting art and life that would never seem to stop, just like the possibilities of pigments in resin liquid on a canvas, that is ever ending.
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