Tang Contemporary Art is proud to present the blockbuster exhibition of the year, Echo among Geographies, including paintings and installations by seven celebrated contemporary artists highlighting the diversity of cultures, identities and inspirations in their artworks. The curation was originally made for Art Basel Hong Kong 2020. Due to the unfortunate cancellation, Echo among Geographies was re-adapted to our Hong Kong gallery space. While Heri Dono, Sakarin Krue-On, Rodel Tapaya and Entang Wiharso, represent Southeast Asian contemporary art in its pivotal attempt and in its most revolutionary and pioneering expressions, Chen Danqing, Qin Qi and Zhao Zhao belong to the counterpart from China whose works demonstrate a significant development of artistic language and reflection of art motives of today.
Southeast Asia has been experiencing numerous changes in the past decade, including its art system that is now a big part of the global art community. Encompassing paintings, reliefs and installations, the exhibition will highlight the forward-looking perspective on the region as a place that is defined by histories, languages, cultures and identities. With the rapid exchange and expansion in the art world of China, post-50s to 80s contemporary Chinese artists are addressing the critical issues undergoing the transformation of its socio-political environment.
Heri Dono (b. 1960, Indonesia), who is known for kinetic sculptures combining Indonesian folk art and myths with Western concepts of visual art, adopts the traditional Indonesian puppet, as a form of his mystical expression. He uses 'Angels' as a 'universal symbol of hope for the future' and projects the ideals of faith and peace in the toy-planes alike installation and painting combo.
The amalgamation of traditional folklore art with pop and surrealism has long been the key signature of Entang Wiharso's (b. 1967, Indonesia) oeurve. His reliefs, usually casted in aluminium, pigment, polyurethane and resin, are an acute personal examination of the predominant socio-political conditions of his home country. The intertwining and provoking composition with prudential versatility builds the allegories of psychic stress in a unique, comical hysteria, in the context of the increasing industrialisation and globalisation.
Sakarin Krue-On (b. 1965, Thailand) brings traditional Thai motives and culture into the contemporary context, reflecting on the immense changes brought by the rapidly developing contemporary society. The Thai religious and mythological narratives have often been the trace to understand his idiosyncratic approach. The gigantic-sized Lotus Pod triggers the contemplation over the capitalist forces, the existence of human and the material orientation of the Buddhist-influenced society.
One may find the pictorial language of Rodel Tapaya (b. 1980, Philippines) strongly related to the ideas of Claude Levi-Strauss. He explores the dichotomy between scientific truths and mythical stories and weaves into semi-surrealistic narratives. In his own words, he often finds himself 'picturing in my mind the rich connections past stories can have to the present, which can even let us see a map of the future', and feed into his contemporary practices.
Chen Danqing (b. 1953, China) came into prominence after the Cultural Revolution and is famous for his Socialism Realist paintings portraying Tibetan minorities. His recent series of paintings inherit the realist painting techniques with a liberation of disparate motives. He is not only focusing on the emotion intuition but also extending to the revision of his own journey of aesthetic acquisition in the 'Book' series.
Qin Qi (b. 1975, China) is known for his use of exaggerated colours and portrayal of ethnic minorities. His paintings create the feeling of deja vu, mixing subjective emotions of romanticism and historical ambience of classicism.
Zhao Zhao (b. 1982, China) is one of the acclaimed eminent Chinese artists known for his works challenging notions of authority. Constellation is his ongoing painting, glass installation and silk embroidery series representing an infinite cycle of destruction and reconstruction. The transient nature of bullet-shot holes are elongated in time-consuming approach of painting and embroidery.
Showcasing works by artists from Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and China and remarking the complexity of historical, religious and political background of these countries, the presentation seeks to provide an art experience that demonstrates the diversity of sociocultural evolution in the Asian region.
Press release courtesy Tang Contemporary Art.