Hong Kong — Before the Beginning and After the End is a solo exhibition by Jin Meyerson, an American artist, of Korean heritage, currently based in Seoul. The exhibition is a singular universal, albeit, at times bewildering narrative envisioned by the artist's deeply personal and culturally global experiences. Meyerson is an early pioneer of the use of computer graphics and image sampling, and a self-confessed visual junkie. On view is a bundled network of paintings and works on paper drawn from the past decade and presented collectively like a greatest hits/misses album. For Meyerson, the paintings are a commentary on our contemporary perceptions of the historical present and the history of painting itself.
With the speed and pace of today's world of images and stories, our experiences are increasingly temporary, fleeting and almost entirely indiscernible.
Meyerson states: 'And yet, through the cacophony, universal forms and stories persist. Like singular pure notes that ring true; despite the symphonic blunderbuss of noise, when we listen, look closely and endure a mono-myth emerges. Compounding, any sense of comprehension is the accumulation of history. Every minute in the present is the oldest in the record of humanity. We live in a time where the reorganization of our perceptions of history is constantly being updated by jostling, competing cultures, opinions and agendas. To this degree, the evolution of our perceptions and the ability to digest simultaneous multiple images and meanings has now evolved to where we can view several distinctive sources without losing sight of the conceptual whole.'
The artworks displayed here, at Meyerson's latest solo exhibition are, in essence, an exercise and celebration of this newly evolved ability of global human perception.
Drawing on Meyerson's own experience with Hong Kong's densely-packed cityscape, Broadacre awaits us in the birthplace of its own inspiration. Borrowing the concept of Le Corbusier's original designs, the artwork also enkindles Frank Lloyd Wright's utopian and modernist community plan of the same name.
The Age of Everyone comments on the Arab Spring, the Umbrella Movement and the global phenomenon of public social protests of the day. Infusing Meyerson's memory of standing in front of gothic stained glasswork, the image is intentionally quasi-religious and sampled from images of rock festivals, streets fairs and the landscape of the Fukushima disaster.
Adding another dose of reminiscent of Hong Kong, Untitled (4 Seasons) was created with multiple layers of the artist's personal iPhone images. Consumed by insomnia, the photos were taken from his very first night in Hong Kong. The sheets of the bed at the Four Seasons Hotel served as quiet reminders of the patterns of distortion in his compositions.
Both sampled and sourced from the sprouting spring flowers at the disaster site of Fukushima, The Resonance of Resurrection and Sanctuary articulates the contemporary idea of the aura, transmitted through a frequency of polarized colour and tonality, while using an identical composition.
Tapping into a long tradition of mono-type printing, Don't You Forget About Me and Learning to Let Go showcase an updated version of a technique invented by bored American housewives and posted on YouTube, primarily for creating faithful reproductions of their beloved family pets, where acrylic polymer is employed to fuse a simple image onto a piece of wood. Meyerson brings images of his finished paintings and fuses the images onto another piece of paper, removing certain sections while also leaving the remnants of the top layer or plate to form a singular and unique whole. The finished artworks themselves became a series of self-sampled and process-driven gestures, questioning the final context of the original artwork.
The Evolution of Perception, Before the Beginning and After the End, and Continents Between Us fuse images of abandoned warehouses in the US and China that are pushed through a process of analogue distortion wherein the 'base' images are performatively manipulated by hand while they are being scanned face down. This is done hundreds of times, catalogued, curated and collaged together into compositions. As the process develops, they then become highly detailed oil paintings, often times departing from, and breathing life into, the flattened digital sketches.
Incheon, Origin, and Confession are a selection of Meyerson's new abstract pictures debuting at this exhibition. Having grown up with the legacy of artists like Richter, Polke, and Kippenberger, the artist has been creating work that bridges the gap between representation and abstraction for the past two decades. The three artworks are residual, re-purposed process paintings where the artist uses the remnants of the material from the above-mentioned paintings to re-create entirely new compositions. On view is de-collaged masking tape, which is physically taken from the process of making other paintings and collaged palette scrapings.
Press release courtesy Pearl Lam Galleries.
Before the Beginning and After the End at Pearl Lam Galleries is a culmination of what Jin Meyerson describes as his "greatest hits and misses", comparable to a rock star compiling their chart toppers alongside little-known B-sides. Spanning seven years, they contain hints at his accumulated perspective and the defining experiences of...