When Finance Meets Art
Bold colours of red, black and gold. Sultry, slinky shapes that explode before one’s eyes. In Manuel Rubio’s hands, these elements come together so naturally that art becomes life itself.
30 Apr 2019 | The Asset
Rubio’s work blends environmentalism and poetry. The Hong Kong-based artist’s breakout series, “The Life Beneath”, features flaming landscapes, ashy mountains and glowing coral reefs.
He feels strongly about a world on a path to catastrophic climate change and wanted to do something about it. He has since simulated an erupting earth on canvass, turned light into darkness and exuded hope amid destruction.
But Rubio’s full-time passion goes beyond art. As the design director of The Asset for 20 years, he explores different perspectives and approaches to not just the subject of the environment, but finance. This gives him the opportunity to make visual and other creative interpretations accessible to a wider audience.
Rubio’s work is featured in this issue and was also the inspiration for its design.
What inspires your art?
My walks on Hong Kong’s famous hiking trails like the Dragon’s Back or Plover Cove give me the chance to be with nature. I take home with me hues of blue from the sea and sky and the lush green that surround my walk. Those are a source of my inspiration for my art, be it on canvass or the pages of The Asset magazine. The people in Hong Kong, my family and friends at work, are my source of growth and joy.
What is it like to be an artist in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is a land of opportunity. As an artist, you can explore one’s art – find oneself, know one’s strength as an artist. But it is also a very expensive city. And fighting to get your art through to an audience can also be a struggle.
How has working with The Asset been like for you for the last two decades?
The last 20 years have been both challenging and rewarding. Here I managed to grow as a person, as a professional graphic designer – as an artist. The Asset has gone through much change in the past two decades but has always been true to its role in making a meaningful contribution to Asian markets. But it is its people that make The Asset a success. It’s the people here that make my stay worthwhile.
Chito Santiago, managing editor, has been covering the capital markets for The Asset for 20 years.
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