For those visiting during Art Basel in Hong Kong (29–31 March 2019), the smell of fresh paint may still be in the air at the latest heritage conservation project, The Mills, which opened on 16 March to encompass the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textiles (CHAT), joining the ranks with ex-prison complex Tai Kwun, along with Eaton HK—a retro...
Firenze Lai says that she knows her studio of a few hundred square feet intimately; from the textures of its surfaces to the way the breeze blows into the room. The spaces depicted in her paintings are equally intimate. When curators seem to be at a loss for words to discuss troubled times, fear of containment, and the feeling of being completely...
In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...
Peter Peryer 2017 features colour works of the last decade, from Newel, Oamaru, 2007 to the handsome new release Shell Study, 2017. The latter is the latest in a long line of Peryer shell pictures (think After Rembrandt, 1996 and Conus, 2007 for example), its cut profile revealing two chambers delicately screwed together. It is a soft tonal picture of echoing, repeated forms - a variation of Peter's long interest in the double as compositional leit-motif, also seen in Pillars, a texture-based image captured in 2015 in Sydney.
Newel, Oamaru is obviously a pattern picture (as Peter would say), but it's a terribly obsessive image too. We stand before a nightmare in flowers and heavy brown wood, all angles and oppressive busyness. Was a gate really required to keep people up these stairs? Domestically, we struggle with such overload these days, yet this is an interior many of us were quite literally born and raised within. The good news: Newel is also available as a jigsaw.
I want too, to talk briefly of Peryer's wonderful ability to play with notions of scale. There are several images in this exhibition in which he does this. Macraes is a vast, open cast goldmine at the northern end of the Maniototo. In Peter's picture, taken in soft, no shadow light, blast marks and rippling geomorphology offer a variegated and beautifully intimate texture for scrutiny. And the massive trucks driving up and down this face are much more the tonka toys of my youth, than the industrial behemoths we know them to be. So the large becomes delightfully small, and vice versa. Expectations of size and scale are toyed with. A rock on the roadside at Gibbston takes on the attributes of Double Cone, the highest point in the Remarkables (conveniently, just out of sight behind). A film set crane looks majestic against the sky in Arch; Blood Veil is a mighty scarf mountain, and even Pillars is actually much smaller than you might expect.
All of which engenders a chuckle and a smile. Peryer's humour is deft - the unlikely truncation of Divided School, the crafty fiction that is Coral Reef, and the generous detail of Angel Wings and Fans. Such are the pleasures of Peter Peryer 2017.
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