The outbreak of Coronavirus in the beginning of 2020's spring has put the world into a panic place. Masks are nearly out of stock and the state of anxiety becomes part of our lives...On Feb. 7th, 4 am in the morning, Art Basel in Hong Kong announced the cancellation for the upcoming fair due to concerns over the contagion, giving the exhibitors mingled feelings. We support the decision as Coronavirus outbreak festers; however, being an exhibitor admitted to the Gallery Sector for the first time, we are unwilling to let go the important chance for our artists to be seen on the international stage, especially they've already spent months on this project. What can we do? Or what should we react in the field of art? The questions and the alternatives are hovering on our mind during these days...
Janus, a mythological deity with two faces looks to the future and to the past, emerges in the button of our heart at the very moment. It could help us to be certain of thoughts we should stick with, meaning we shall hold on the ground to confront the current crisis. All things on earth born with binary– active and quiet, love and hate, desperation and hope, doom and resurrection... those always coexist, depending which ground we choose to set our foot on and which direction to look at? For that reason, we made a decision to entitle the project supposedly happening in Hong Kong as "Janus" and move it to the gallery space after communicating with participating artists. The gallery space will again transform and become the mini arena for 2020 ABHK presentation!
Besides the gallery presented artist Marina CRUZ, Rao FU, LEE Ming-tse, Shinji OHMAKI, SHI Jin-Hua, and SHI Jinsong, E.Y.Shih-Chih YANG who collaborates with us for the first time as well participates in this project. The artworks deployed addressing to "Shan shui" and "abstraction" gather various interpretations to the theme by varying artists: CRUZ's latest painting Different Shades of Grey still emphasizes on her well-recognized fabric patterns but detail enlargement she has chosen for this very dress transforms cutting and pleats of a garment into an abundant play of color levels and tones like a mathematical calculation of grey. By her thick and loose, heavy and light brushstrokes as well as subtle changes of lights and shadows, she creates a painting filled with emotions at the same time resonating with contemporary paintings deeply in concepts of abstraction. The triptych "Abyss" tailor-made by the German-based artist Rao FU for this project presents the majesty of his huge painting. He refines assorted tracks of humanity in nature environment into the light always vaguely emanated within speed, turmoil and destruction.
Compared to Rao Fu who captures and renders landscape imagery to motion scenes, LEE Ming-tse, SHI Jin-Hua, SHI Jinsong, and E.Y.Shih-Chih YANG more inclined to build new aesthetics through heritage of traditional forms in Shan Shui practices. In addition to LEE Ming-tse's signature elements of landscape, temple decoration and folklore, he this time wrote verses quoted from the distinguished Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami 's poetry, which further infuses daily materials and poetic flavour into conventional ink paintings to create endless new looks of art on his mixed-media work. SHI Jin-Hua uses the white pencils to walk on the ink painted paper for his latest Pen Walking#173 The Picture of Unclouded Moon and Blowing Snow, as if a Sadhu's footmarks to make the pilgrimage to the religious "holy mountain", meanwhile, to continue a romantic journey in the natural scenery. Patchwork Map - Practise of Shan Shui III by SHI Jinsong built on the model of traditional Shan shui layout indeed is the imprints of objects on the rice paper through tea, leftover liquor and dry ink. The artist demolishes the conventions in Shan shui painting and reconstructs a new aesthetics system. Moreover, E.Y.Shih-Chih YANG's To Leap Forward with a Piece of Pink appears the similarity to traditional Shan shui in terms of forms and touches of strokes; yet it in fact is the accumulation of practical proceedings and outcomes, a novel creation results from her technique of repeated cutout and collage.
Press release courtesy Mind Set Art Center.