(17 March 2023, Hong Kong) During Hong Kong Arts Month, Whitestone Gallery is honoured to present a collaboration of two prominent contemporary artists Etsu Egami and JY. In the midst of the pandemic, Egami ventured into her reading journey during social isolation. It has driven her to create a series of portraits of modern literary masters, and held a large-scale solo exhibition in GINZA SIX under the title 'Star Time'. Egami was deeply impressed by the book 'The Analects of Confucius and Abacus' written by modern Japanese entrepreneur Shibusawa Eiichi. Her attention shifted from modern times to the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States Periods in China. She believes the philosophies of the Hundred Schools of Thought that emerged in the chaotic times consistently have a profound message to the ones living in the present. While contemplating the philosophical literature, the artist reflects on the modern social structure and begins to make portrayals of the ancient Chinese philosophers. This exhibition presents a series of Etsu Egami's symbolic portrait paintings. The paintings are characterised by bold and placid brushstrokes, as well as vivid and robust colours, capturing the essence of the Hundred Schools of Thoughts through the form composition. In consonance with the portraits, JY's calligraphic works of the classic idioms are presented. The two open up a new space of thoughts and present a new art form.
The artworks of the two artists perfectly harmonise and complete this series of works. In the process of creation, the artists reconsider the relationship between portrait and text, image and language. Spanning more than 2,000 years, connecting the ancient and the present, the East and the West, and reshaping the glory of the old times in the form of dialogues between oil painting and calligraphy.
Press release courtesy Whitestone Gallery.
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