Lambert Ho is an artist based in Fiji’s capital Suva. Lambert is of Fijian-Chinese heritage and has been a creative force on the Fiji and the Pacific Art scene for three decades now. His work includes fabric art for fashion shows, contemporary jewelry using natural local materials, visual art and decorations for Christmas and other special events.
Lambert has exhibited around the Pacific including Australia and New Zealand and has museum pieces in both the Vancouver Museum and the Sainsbury Museum in London. In November of this year Lambert will be staging his first solo exhibition after 20 years at an island resort just out of Suva.
Carrie: When did you first realize the arts were an important part of your life?
I was a teenager, around 15 years old, and one of my goals was to attend a school with a good arts teacher. That became a reality when I won a scholarship to attend the UWC of the American West in 1987.
Carrie: How would you describe your art to Artist Strong readers?
My art is colourful with messages of love, peace and joy! That really is our life in the Pacific and especially in Fiji. My art is on a contemporary and abstract level with an urge to intellectualize certain themes for art lovers and viewers alike.
Carrie: Can you describe the evolution of your artistic style? (Have you always made art with this unique vision or what was your turning point into recognizing this style was your authentic “you”?)
I went from recognising and being fascinated by the old masters and the new wave of contemporary artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. I created in the likeness of their style of art. I loved the colours of Pablo Picasso, the sensuous forms of Georgia O’Keefe, the evolution of van Gogh and Gauguin!
I then immersed myself into life back home on my return from the USA and tried to find my niche. But my art never really found a pattern and I was working with all sorts of mediums in varying styles. I suppose the colours of my works and its intrinsic message is what stood out and was recognised.
Carrie: What does your creative workspace look like?
I don’t have a studio, I never have! I am a wandering art-spirit! I have lived all over Fiji and whatever space there is I will create in, be it in an outdoor bush kitchen or on the verandah of my aunt’s home.
Carrie: Describe your habits or rituals around “making.”
Nothing is planned. I have to be in the mood, and that can take 3 months or 3 minutes!
All my tools are where it should be, no kids allowed and no adults to talk to me! I will listen to music and have a great cup of lemon leaf tea to calm my nerves.
Then it becomes a very volatile and crazy process as the intensity of creating flows out of my left hand. I have to walk away after an intense work-art to release myself from that ‘artist’ bubble to be able to relate to the world again.
Carrie: What do you do when you feel creatively stuck?
I go for a swim in the ocean or lie under a beautiful huge tree in the park and go to sleep.
Carrie: What is one piece of advice you have for struggling creatives?
Don’t struggle with your thoughts to create. Just do it! Try different things and never undermine your abilities!
Carrie: What do you hope viewers take from your artwork?
A sense of calmness, a joyful revolution and a keen eye for kindness.
Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
My left hand!
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
Everything around me, especially people’s faces!
Carrie: How do you define Creativity?
Creativity is life and what it abounds! Creativity is helping out at a child’s birthday party with art activities. Creativity is a chameleon changing its colours!
Be Creatively Courageous: How does your need to be in the “right mood” impact your ability to create? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
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