STRUCTURES OF RECOLLECTION: Contemporary approaches to materials and memory Featuring works by Chun Kwang Young, Leonardo Drew, Dale Frank, Hew Locke, Qiu Deshu and Yinka Shonibare MBE
- Exhibition Dates 22 March–28 April 2016
- Extended hours 22–26 March, 9am–9pm
- Regular hours Monday–Saturday, 10am–7pm
- Venue Pearl Lam Galleries, 6/F, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong—Pearl Lam Galleries is delighted to present Structures of Recollection, a group show curated by Paul Moorhouse that features works by six leading contemporary artists: Chun Kwang Young, Leonardo Drew, Dale Frank, Hew Locke, Qiu Deshu, and Yinka Shonibare MBE. The title and theme of the exhibition refers to Marcel Proust’s monumental novel In Search of Lost Time, published between 1913 and 1927, and will take place at the Galleries’ Pedder Building space from 22 March to 28 April, 2016. Paul Moorhouse, 20th Century Curator at the National Portrait Gallery London, takes from In Search of Lost Time the Proustian theme that the physical world, its inhabitants, and all experience are fugitive: everything that exists comes into being, endures, and then disappears from the flux of reality. Structures of Recollection focuses on the notion that the material fabric of the world and the objects within it act as triggers for memory, a concern that is shared by each of the six leading contemporary artists who feature in this exhibition.
Each artist engages with the associative and expressive qualities of their chosen media. Both Dale Frank and Qiu Deshu use paint and pigment respectively. While the employment of these traditional media connects both artists directly with the past, each artist’s practice is unconventional. Part painter and part alchemist, Frank’s paintings see paint dripped onto surfaces made from a variety of different materials. That action proceeds in unpredictable ways, embracing the full physical transformative process of his chosen medium.
Steeped in the tradition of Chinese painting, Qiu uses Xuan paper in his collage-based work. Employing torn and rearranged paper, he creates fissures—compelling gaps or apertures in the work’s structure—through which glimpses of colour emerge. This invests his art with spatial complexity and ambiguous significance.
Both Leonardo Drew and Chun Kwang Young assert the physical characteristics of their materials, emphasising their texture, colour, and shape, thereby creating something that is insistently sculptural. Drew’s use of manipulated and found objects taps into the history associated with a specific fabric or artefact, while Chun’s assemblages incorporate mulberry paper, a traditional Korean medium that invokes the artist’s childhood memories of seeing medicine packages wrapped in that material.
The work of Yinka Shonibare MBE and Hew Locke demonstrate a shared sensitivity to the evocative power of manufactured materials and objects. By incorporating into his works batik fabric—a material that originated in Southeast Asia before being sold by the Dutch to their African colonies—Shonibare uses these historical associations to explore the way identity and nationality are constructed from personal memory and collective experience of the past.
Collage and assemblage are also characteristic of Locke’s wide-ranging practice. He incorporates found objects, such as toys and cheap jewellery, and combines them with certificates and photographs in order to examine issues of power and identity, as well as the way that memory is connected with these constructed concepts. “I’m delighted to be welcoming Paul Moorhouse to Pearl Lam Galleries once more to curate an ambitious show featuring the works of this group of six leading international artists. Hailing from all over the world and bringing with them their cultural heritage, this exhibition will provide a discourse about the way in which these artists from the East and West demonstrate the ‘structures of recollection’ in their work.” —Pearl Lam, Founder of Pearl Lam Galleries
Paul Moorhouse is a curator and writer. He is 20th Century Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, London. From 1985 to 2005 he was Curator, Modern Collection at Tate, latterly Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and was closely involved with the organisation of Tate Britain’s and Tate Modern’s opening displays. He has curated numerous exhibitions internationally. These include Giacometti—Pure Presence; The Great War in Portraits; The Queen—Art and Image; Gerhard Richter Portraits; and Pop Art Portraits (all at the National Portrait Gallery); Anthony Caro, Bridget Riley, Leon Kossoff, and Michael Andrews (at Tate); as well as Warhol/Icon, John Hoyland and Andy Warhol—Ten Famous Jews of the 20th Century in Athens and Moscow. He writes extensively on twentieth century art and his recent books include Giacometti—Pure Presence; Cindy Sherman; Anthony Caro—Presence; A Guide to Twentieth Century Portraits; Gerhard Richter: Painting Appearances; Bridget Riley—From Life and the award-winning Richard Long: Walking the Line. He has also curated exhibitions and written on several Chinese contemporary artists, notably Zhu Jinshi, Su Xiaobai and Liu Ye. Moorhouse is currently writing a monograph on the life and art of Bridget Riley for publication in 2016, and he is working on an exhibition of Howard Hodgkin’s portraits to be held at the National Portrait Gallery in 2017.
Source: Pearl Lam Galleries, HK
Featured image of this article: Qiu Deshu b. 1948, Fissuring, 2015, Acrylic on Xuan paper and canvas, 270 x 520 cm (106 1/4 x 204 3/4 in.). Courtesy image.
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