Pearl Lam Galleries is proud to present two solo exhibitions of works by Kour Pour (b. 1987, England) and Su Dongping (b.1958, China) in Hong Kong.
Kour Pour is known for his elaborate carpet paintings that depict familiar symbols of different cultures and universal concepts of beauty. Inspired by an early education in textiles from his Iranian-born father, who owned a carpet shop in the UK, he translates intricate patterns from old carpets onto panelled surfaces.
Pour's early series of carpet paintings, which take months to prepare, are based on designs the artist has researched from past exhibitions and auction catalogues. Pour is specifically interested in carpets and their role in the world as an object of craft—people weaving in a community, the history, the patterns, the figures, as well as their status as collectable commodities. Each painting is highly labour- intensive and incorporates a range of techniques, including scrupulous hand painting, silkscreen printing, and applying paint layers with a broomstick, sanding down, and repainting. His carpet paintings use the structure and format of Persian miniature paintings, while all the characters and images are pulled from various sources and organized into original compositions. Narratives are created by bringing together images from different cultures and time periods and include themes of migration, race, love, spirituality, war, etc. Pour states his intent:
While geometric abstraction endured as a visual and theoretical counterpoint to gestural movements like Abstract Expressionism throughout the 20th century, Pour's most recent series of paintings uses geometric abstraction to investigate issues of appropriation and originality. The image is silkscreened onto a background and then sections of the image are painted over with geometrical shapes. The end result is paintings that lay somewhere in between a Persian miniature painting and an American or European minimal geometric painting, expressing the artists among different cultures and time periods.
Su Dongping was born in Shenyang, China. He taught painting and art history for over 20 years after graduating from Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts. Su's works are informed by Taoist philosopher Laozi during his formative years in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. His calligrapher father had a great impact on Su's artistic practice; Su's father taught him the concept of 'bu miao', meaning not only to depict the shape of characters, but to express the spirit and thoughts on paper spontaneously and decisively. By applying layers with thick paint day after day, Su's paintings register his life experiences and are infused with a strong sense of recluse. Not wanting to conform to conventional practices, the artist withdrew from traditional education, family, and his social environment, awakening an inner impulse. The artist's dynamic brushwork conveys a longing for freedom, and the constant negotiation with uncertainty is what makes abstract painting relevant. Su states:
By destroying and reconstructing his paintings, Su discovers his own unique painting technique instead of following traditional painting methods. Through the iterative process of applying layers by laying on oil, plaster, wire nails, and other media, Su breaks through boundaries and rebuilds the discipline of painting to create three-dimensional, sculpture-like paintings. The use of black and dark tone is inspired by the polluted surroundings where he grew up. Due to the rapid urban development and industrialization in China over the last twenty years, old buildings have been replaced by modern skyscrapers, leaving construction residue such as steel bars and concrete around the neighbourhood. Seeing this outside his studio has influenced Su's choice of media and has inspired him to move forward from the spatial limitations of two-dimensional creations.
Press release courtesy Pearl Lam Galleries.