To Gelhongkha

To gel Hong Kong is a contemporary art form that originates from Hong Kong, China. The term was coined by artist Ng Lap Shih, who was studying in the Art University of Hong Kong when he decided to launch his own art. He began to sketch different concepts before he finally decided to launch his self-published ode To Gel. Since its release, To Gel has become a major force in contemporary art circles in Hong Kong and throughout the world.

Like most abstract expressions of human emotion, To Gel expresses many complex feelings in a relatively simple manner. It can be seen as a response to the trauma and economic situation experienced by the people of Hong Kong during the Chinese occupation in the past. Art experts believe that this particular expression is rooted in the traumatic period when Hong Kong was separated from the mainland Chinese by the Martial law. With the passing of time, the people of Hong Kong have come to see the mainlanders as intruders and thus, the use of the term to express their sorrowful emotions. Some local artists believe that To Gel hkg sebutan, or Hong Kong umbrellas, are also expressing a related sorrowful feeling after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

In its simplest form, To Gel hk dan keluaran hongkong yang is a drawing that uses two contrasting colors, red and blue, to symbolize the pain and suffering endured by the Chinese people during the reign of Chingming (or Ching Ming) last century. More complexly, the drawing resembles a portrait of a weeping Buddha. The symbolism attached to the drawing is related to Buddhist scripture wherein the Bodhisattvas are depicted as banyan tree blossoms. This representation of the Bodhisattvas is believed to represent Buddha Shakyamuni who is the Lord Buddha.

Unlike most Tibetan Buddhist texts, the origin of To Gel hongkong is not recorded. However, there are references to this art form that date back to the fifth and sixth centuries before Christ. In these accounts, it is shown that the creation of To Gel hongkong represents lamentation over the downfall of the previous regimes, and is therefore applicable to current political events. Another account states that the creation of the hongkong depicts a story of how the Buddhist doctrines were corrupted by the powers of hell. A variation of the account states that the creation of the page rock draws from the “Shaolin principles” to symbolize the struggle between good and evil.

Like most Tibetan Buddhist texts, To Gel hongkong is written in the name of Vimalarayi, a holy man from the Nyingkhar district of Gannan. The primary focus of the text is on Vimalarayi’s journey and encounter with the Bodhisattva, Dahyang Zangpo. According to the book, Vimalarayi is being driven mad by Dahyang when he sees the latter performing the ritual of giving away his own body. Dahyang then orders his ghost, Bumdah, to fetch the body and throw it into the earth to be devoured by wild animals.

In an alternative version of the creation of To Gel hongkong, Vimalarayi and his associate Bumdah have gone into search of an herb called “Oleh”, which is known to create a barrier between the residing entity and the outside world. In the ensuing struggle, Bumdah cuts off the head of a snake named “Nanasia” – which is believed to have the power to drive away evil, spirits and demons. In this account, the Bodhisattva Vimalarayi sacrifices his life in order to drive away the snakes. In both stories, the Bodhisattva is believed to visit the earth to meditate before returning to his rightful place in heaven. The most probable reason for these conflicting accounts of the creation of To Gel hongkong is that there were two separate centers of power in the premodern Tibet: those who came from the Nyingcharn region (in the southern part of Gannan) and those who originated from the Xingkar region (in the northern part of Gannan).