Personal Story

Feature Issue on Careers in The Arts for People with Intellectual, Developmental, and Other Disabilities

Hip-yan’s Art Journey Leads to Discovering Herself


Hip-yan Chan is a graduate of the second Art Course, a four-year program offered by i-dArt. During her years of study, she explored various art mediums and different styles.

A woman from Hong Kong stands with her diploma, pointing to it and bending slightly to the side. She’s wearing a patterned headscarf and a bright red dress and is standing in front of two paintings.

Hip-yan Chan is a visual artist and a graduate of i-dArt, Hong Kong.

At the beginning, she was fond of sketching. She depicted graphics in detail based on references given by the instructor. She traced objects in criss-crossed lines and developed skills in brushstroke technique through patient, dedicated work.

In early 2018, she discovered a new creative outlet by re-creating magazine pages with oil pastel and crayon. Collecting publications (including magazine pages, posters, etc.) is one of her favorite hobbies, and oil pastel and crayon are a familiar painting medium. She combines these interests as her own form of creation. This self-directed process not only reflects her independent thinking, but also her study of the works. She reads the visual images and selects which materials and colors to paint, then decides what and how to re-create. Her unique artworks won awards in various competitions. She also won an international art award in Japan in 2018, her first time travelling abroad. 

“I think I am doing well,” Hip-yan said when asked about her development as an artist. Her favorite work to do? “Painting, painting on the cover (of publications).”

Dryer Loo, a social worker who has known Hip-yan for years, said art has carried over into the rest of Hip-yan’s life.

"Hip-yan finds her inner peace and herself in the artistic world,” he said.

As recognition of Hip-yan’s talent grew, both her family and the staff who worked with her moved past conventional labels and low expectations and could see her as the artist she had become.

Her self-esteem and dignity are much enhanced as well, and today she considers herself an artist first.