About

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About Karen Aruba

Karen Aruba is a self-taught illustrator based in Hong Kong specializing in sketching related to travel and cultural theme. With a passion for art, she derives inspiration from everything she comes across by incorporating themes of energy, peace and happiness.

She is also an event specialist with profound experiences from concept ideas to final execution in collaboration with international brands, corporates, associations and NGO, etc.

Her art brand, named ‘Karen Aruba Art’ built up in 2016, is inspired by the year she spent as a child in Aruba with her mother’s family. Aruba is a tiny Dutch Caribbean island known as ‘One Happy Island’, a cheerful island full of happiness and energy.

Karen Aruba Art comes from a longstanding line of mahjong craftsmanship. The artist’s grandfather made a living making the sets and her father is one of the last few craftsmen in Hong Kong. Karen’s popular family story, ‘A Mahjong Story’, is an intimate tale intricately linked with Hong Kong art & culture, showcasing how this city’s traditional mahjong craftsmanship integrated with artistry.

Her well known “A Mahjong Story” illustrations have bridged the gap between traditional cultures and modern lifestyles and passes the skills and know-how from the old generation to the new. Her story was featured in DesignInspire and JCCAC Happenings. Her involvement in the design of mahjong garnered a number of awards.

Karen keeps the ‘Art of Mahjong Craft’ spirit alive with a number of ventures in the past few years, with the new art studio reinvented in JCCAC the latest effort to revive this old tradition with a modern twist, fully supported by her father Master Ricky Cheung. Click here to read more about Karen Aruba Studio

Since 2015, Karen has embarked her personal ‘Care & Love Charity Campaign’ which helps the vulnerable in consecutive years, those people who need greater support through her arts and passion with donation successfully made to many different charity organizations along valuable and sustainable principles.

‘Art is a process of creation. We create happiness with heART’ – Karen Aruba Art

Project Awards

  • Central Market Digital Print Decoration, The 32th Hong Kong Print Award, Bronze Award 2021
  • Golden Marker Mark, Mahjong with Golden Touch, The 32th Hong Kong Print Award, Bronze Award 2021
  • Illustrated Product ‘Open the table’, The 31st Hong Kong Prints Award Home Décor Category 2019, Champion
  • Endorsed project under ‘Hong Kong Federation of Design Association’ 2019
  • Take2 Tote Bag Project, Design Intelligence Award (DIA) 2019, Silver Award
  • Take2 Tote Bag Project, Hong Kong Digital Prints Awards 2019, Merit
  • Travel Mahjong City, The 30th Edition of Hong Kong Prints Awards (Merit), Merit
  • Travel Mahjong City collection, K11 D Project Finalists 2018
  • Travel Mahjong City, Hong Kong Smart Design Award 2018, Judge Award
  • Lenovo illustration FB competition 2016, Merit

About Mahjong Craftsman Master Ricky Cheung

Having over 50 years hand-carved mahjong tile experience, master Ricky Cheung started learning hand-carved tiles from his parents when he was in secondary school aged 13. He is not only a professional mahjong craftsman but also an innovator to develop machinery to support his father’s mahjong manufacturing business named ‘Fuk Hing Lung Mahjong Factory’ in 1980-2000s. It was one of the largest MJ factories in Hong Kong old days.

Although the business was still not be able to sustain in 2009 due to the severe competition from mainland China, the spirit of the mahjong craftsmanship stays alive. Cheung retired in 2018 and is now being an volunteer fully engaged with artistic and creative mahjong craftmanship development inspired by her daughter, Karen with a strong commitment to preserve such skills and intangible cultural heritage.