Hong Kong—Pearl Lam Galleries is proud to present Embodied
, a group exhibition that studies figuration in art. Curated by David Ho Yeung Chan, the exhibition will feature works by five international artists: Du Zhenjun (France), Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore), Li Ming (China), Gatot Pujiarto (Indonesia), and Ben Quilty (Australia). The show will open on 6 November and run through 10 January, 2015.
To ‘embody’ is to take spiritual possession of something that one holds dear in the hope of making it one’s own. An artwork’s attributes come from the visual representation of an idea. For an artwork, the most direct way to engage with audiences is to depict the human body. Embodied
examines the language of figuration and the varying appropriations of bodily association through the use of different media. In doing so, it exposes the gap between using art as a tool for idealisation and reality.
continues a long history in Western art of exploring the human figure, touching on themes of composition, myth, narrative, performance, body politics, disfiguration, torment, dematerialisation and dystopia. The exhibition highlights how figurative art is not limited to the use of the human figure, but also contains subtle iconography and symbolism. This group exhibition will be installed in a melodramatic manner in order to provoke a bodily and psychological association with the individual artworks.
Du Zhenjun’s dystopic photographs that depict the Tower of Babel in the background raise the spectre of humanity on the verge of an environmental catastrophe, and remind us of the precarious state of current affairs. Du works primarily in digital media, seeing it as the most relevant art form in modern society. Filmmaker Ho Tzu Nyen documents the interactions of a group of actors on a stage in the film EARTH. He uses chiaroscuro coupled with a soundscape to cause a crisis in identification, and to question the narrative structure in film.
Experimental video artist Li Ming finds inspiration in images, words, actions, and atmospheres which provoke his interest. Shot in Hangzhou in 2012, Mist is a two-channel video that depicts an imaginary apocalypse and captures the sporadic movement of a group of casual workers on the outskirts of a city. This artwork speaks of desolation and the psychological impact on our subjectivity as a result of environmental degradation.
The highly charged paintings by Gatot Pujiarto connote an altered state with the depicted figures being subjected to temptations and spiritual trance. Ben Quilty’s investigation surrounding the issue of masculinity is embodied in his disfigured portraitures which shed light on the psychological nuances of his painted subjects. His work relates to his own past, as well as Australia’s wider historical culture.
Press release courtesy Pearl Lam Galleries.