Mr. Tripleton一直以拍攝影片、電影為本業，疫情期間與許多人一樣，經歷了一段黑暗時期。「回來香港、在竹篙灣隔離時，我的狀態很差，發現所有生活要求全沒有了，很痛苦。後來，我突然在那裡醒了，找到了人生的意義。對我來說，好像是神伸手拉了我一把。」然後，他開始嘗試影片以外的創作，並舉行首個以版畫為主的展覽「A Picture by Mr. Tripleton：The Questionables」。「第一步不是去創作、去畫，而是讓自己去『諗』。想一些無聊的東西，發現『啊，原來我也可以做那些事。』這就是開端。」疫症來臨，使我們習以為常的生活模式、價觀值受到衝擊，是一個反思、創新的時刻，「Mr. Tripleton」也因此被創造了出來。
Mr. Tripleton一直戴著面具示人，把真實身份隱藏起來，讓他更有效地傳達作品的信息。「由貼紙拼貼成的樣子，每一次也不一樣，我創造的面具或所有你看見的東西都代表著我。在我的世界裡，很多人都是anonymous， batman、金庸筆下的殺手，有很多superhero也是。」大部分的創作都包含著改變的欲望，Mr. Tripleton被創造成art hero，像batman一樣拯救世界。「我一直思考怎樣影響別人，不能只是自己一個進步，我們要一起提升。」
“I always thought that art helped me, but in fact it was the act of thinking that helped. The willingness to think,” said cross-media artist Mr. Tripleton.
Shooting videos and movies has always been Mr. Tripleton’s main gig. And like many of us, he suffered a lot during the pandemic. “When I came back to Hong Kong, I was sent to quarantine at Penny’s Bay. I was not in a good way at all. I felt indifferent to life. It was really devastating. And then one day, I just suddenly came back to myself and found the meaning of life. It was like God had reached out and gave me a hand.” It was then he began to explore other forms of art, and eventually debuted his first art exhibition, A Picture by Mr. Tripleton: The Questionables. “The first thing I did was not create nor paint; instead, I allowed myself to think. To think about something silly and meaningless, and then eventually came to the realization that ‘Ah. I can actually do those things.’ And this is how everything started.” Alongside the tremendous impact to our usual life patterns and values, the pandemic also brought along the chance for us to reflect and innovate. Mr. Tripleton was created for this reason.
“I often say that filmmaking is the only thing I can do in the world. I wanted to be a filmmaker even back when I was still in school because making a film means you have to know everything.”
Mr. Tripleton always has a mask on to remain anonymous. In a way, it also allows him to convey his messages and ideas to his audiences more effectively. “I put together different stickers to create the face on my mask. It’s always different. The mask and other things that I create represent me. In my world, many people keep their identity anonymous. Just like Batman, the killers in Jin Yong’s literary works, and some other superheroes.” Most of his work signifies a desire to change. Just like Batman, Mr. Tripleton is a superhero in the art world with a mission to save the world. “I have been thinking about how I can make an impact. It can’t just be me who makes progress to be better, we all have to.”
Mr. Tripleton’s name, which carries the literal meaning of “three pupils”, comes from the lucky combination of Chinese numbers. It symbolizes the infinite possibilities of artistic creation and encourages people to think from different perspectives. “I studied art but all my school projects focused on video production. I was often told not to do what I am not good at. When I was young, my art teacher once said to me that I am not good at drawing. But looking back now, I wonder: what are the rules for drawing? Why do drawings need to look good? I think the education at that time hindered my development and made me scared of creating.”
It’s Mr. Tripleton’s habit to question and reflect on everything. Recently, he held two exhibitions, both titled, The Questionables, in February and March. The latest one in March is a director’s cut version that showcased his printed work and videos as well as some ceramic pieces that are co-created with ceramic artist Vonnie Lui. Mr. Tripleton doesn’t care about skills and techniques, or whether the finished product is an oil painting, an NFT or a video. “These are after all the mediums for expressions.”
“During the pandemic, I lived in Hawaii for a while and was giving out tips every day. At that time, I thought to myself, ‘Why always a dollar for tipping?’ It’s just a piece of paper. But since people believe in the patterns printed on it and consider that ‘money’, it becomes something of value. The Questionables is a question about money. What is money? What is art? Can the character on the banknote be anyone? How could someone make a dollar bill more meaningful? I am not trying to criticize. I just want to ask questions.”
The numerous questions in his mind led to the birth of the Money Art series. Each group of the “creations” can be split and combined to form tens of thousands, or even infinite combinations. It’s like the algorithm of life. “How can I put them together to form something unique and at the same time be able to share the story I have in mind? This is the question I’ve been thinking about.” In addition to the hand-paintings that use US dollar bills as templates, each and every large-scale work in The Questionables exhibition is hand-screen printed with 20 to 60 layers of coloring. The production is meticulous and lengthy. Among the large and small dollar bills in the exhibition, we seem to see the questions, or answers, left by Mr. Tripleton.
Mr. Tripleton’s studio is in the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei. He has also selected this same venue to hold his two exhibitions. But why not showcase his work in galleries in Central and Sheung Wan? “If I really believe in my creations, I should know that my audiences would show up no matter where I am. Compared to Central and Sheung Wan, isn’t it more unique and special to put my work in this movie-like building in Shek Kip Mei?”