2023 Chin Up! Painting & Album Design, Eason Chan

Michael Lau
Chin Up!

Executed in 2023 Acrylic on canvas 220 x 220 cm 劉建文

Chin Up!
丙烯 畫布
220 x 220 厘米 ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Chin Up!, the eponymous artwork for this album of Hong Kong singer – Eason Chan, created by contemporary artist Michael Lau, employs a stylized artistic language and visual hidden gems to playfully deconstruct the meanings of the phrase "Chin Up" on canvas. At the visual focal point, a child hangs with one hand on a climbing frame, chin held high, immediately embodying the literal interpretation. Its blushing face and confident expression demonstrate a sense of playfulness and a carefree attitude, evoking the optimistic and uplifting spirit at the core of "Chin Up". It also resonates with Lau's artistic philosophy and the message that Eason wants to convey—even in adversity, never hang your head low. Chin up and hold onto hope, there is no challenge you cannot overcome.

Rotating the canvas counterclockwise by 90 degrees, another hidden gem comes into view. The three rainbows and two parallel bars form an uppercase letter "E," celebrating Eason's highly anticipated reunion with his fans after a four-year wait for this new album. Additionally, when Eason's social media handle, "E ," is rotated clockwise by 90 degrees, both characters resemble parallel climbing frames, symbolizing the interplay between Fear and Dreams in life and the unwavering determination to forge ahead, serving also as a subtle connection to Eason’s recent world tour theme.

The visual element in the artwork integrates the artist's life experiences, street art, and pop culture that have consistently been engaged in Lau’s practice. The symbolic single red line that represents physical well-being during the pandemic conveys the artist's aspiration for good health. Laid against a rich deep blue background that hints melancholy and sadness, nine colorful auspicious clouds referencing “on Cloud 9” gather at the bottom of the canvas, seemingly bursting out of the edge. Beneath the dense clouds, three rainbows emerge, and stars shimmer above the child’s head. At the end of the horizon, the dawn rises, illuminating the surroundings. The emotional depth of the

artwork and the spirit of "Chin Up" are repeatedly reinforced through the contrast of colors and the tension of visual dynamics.

Taking a closer look at the media, acrylic paint creates street-art-like textures, such as spray paint graffiti and collages. A price tag bearing the artwork's title, and black lines resembling embroidery on the clouds are casually juxtaposed, revealing Lau's connection to street culture. Having previously designed album covers for local bands, Lau returns as a contemporary artist and remains true to his roots to create the album cover for Eason. The child depicted in the work, perhaps having faced numerous setbacks, with dusts of life falls on the T-shirt, radiates a bright smile. It represents the playful Eason Chan in the world of music, the mischievous Michael Lau in the realm of art, and the countless individuals striving to climb towards the future while remaining forever youthful at heart.

當代藝術家 Michael Lau(劉建文)為歌手陳奕迅專輯《Chin Up!》創作的同名畫作以風格化的 藝術語言及視覺彩蛋,將「Chin Up」的雙重意涵玩味解構於畫布:反手懸掛在攀登架上的孩 童下巴高昂,字面含義躍然於畫面;孩童面泛紅暈,俏皮忘形,點出「Chin Up」樂觀振奮的 精神內核,呼應 Michael Eason 試圖傳遞的人生哲學——哪怕在困境中,也不要垂頭喪氣, 只要下巴抬起,心懷希望,沒有什麼難關是挺不過的。

若將畫布逆時針翻轉 90 度,又一個彩蛋呼之欲出:三道彩虹與兩支單槓組成的大寫字母 E, 是獻給睽違四年再度攜新專輯與樂迷重聚的 Eason 的一份禮讚。而 Eason 在社交媒體的帳號名 「E 臣」順時針翻轉 90 度的視覺效果恰如兩道平行的攀登架,串連起恐懼與夢想 (Fear & Dreams,亦是 Eason 世界巡迴演唱會的主題)交織,卻仍一往無前攀登的人生旅程。

畫作中的視覺元素蘊藏了 Michael 的生命經驗及其實踐中一貫的街頭文化與潮流元素,人物緊 握於疫情中極具象徵意味的的一綫紅色單槓傳達出他對健康的美好期許。在暗示著憂鬱沮喪的 蔚藍背景上,九朵彩色祥雲(指代「on Cloud 9」)如花團錦簇,似要撐出畫面;三道彩虹破雲 而出,頭頂星光璀璨;天際線的盡頭,曙光升騰點亮四周。畫作的情感深度及「Chin Up」的 精神能量在色彩的對比與視覺勢態的張力中得以反覆強化。

細看媒材,丙烯顏料在畫布上再現了如噴漆塗鴉和拼貼般的街頭藝術質感,書寫了作品標題的 標價牌與雲朵之上如刺繡般的黑色線條隨性並置,承載著 Michael 的潮流過往。早年即為本地 樂團設計過專輯封面的他初心不改,此番以當代藝術家的身份回歸,為 Eason 操刀封面。而畫 面上的孩童,可能曾四處碰壁,衣衫落滿生活的灰塵,卻笑容燦爛——它是音樂世界的大兒童 Eason Chan,藝術世界的頑童 Michael Lau,也是努力向未來攀登,歸來仍是少年的芸芸眾生。