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Lulu NGIE: The Sensitive Body

29 October - 26 November



Gallery EXIT is pleased to present Lulu NGIE’s latest solo exhibition ‘The Sensitive Body’. This is NGIE’s first solo exhibition since 2019, showcasing the artist’s old and new oil and ink works on the body as a vessel for emotions and sensibilities, manifesting the various states of inward meditation and outward experience.

Quoted from the artist’s own statement about her creative process and exhibited works: ‘I always wonder how much I know about this body which I have been using for decades: Other than having different allergic reactions to certain drugs, foods, and substances at different points of my life, whenever I encounter certain situations that elicit emotions, my body also becomes allergic!

My emotions seem to be recorded somewhere in the body; an allergy attack happens whenever certain situations come up. And the most annoying thing of all is not being able to locate the source of the allergens!

I cannot be reconciled to the pains and discomforts caused by these involuntary physiological reactions, and to regain control over my own body, I have to find out their source. In addition to seeking medical help and undergoing treatments, I am more interested in looking for ways of self- healing, to learn to interpret the signals sent out by the body.

During my research process, I discovered that the body plays a vital role in all things related to the mind. Just as some bodily responses are a result of our emotions, some intense emotions come from our memories; even when we cannot accurately place some major events in our memory, some emotions and details associated with the events may have been deeply impressed somewhere inside us, and whenever a certain situation chances to evoke that memory, the body reacts accordingly. This condition keeps recurring so much that I feel like being trapped in the past, perpetually frozen somewhere in time. Every time this happens I have to remind myself to return to the present. To achieve self-recovery, the sense of security is key to our defense mechanism of self-regulation and restraint. When humans feel safe, the autonomic nerves will coordinate in its operation in such a way that the fight or flight mechanism of the sympathetic nervous system will not be constantly activated, and the perception of danger can be readjusted. Then the body will also be able to self-regulate to optimally support health, growth, and repair.

Currently a common psychiatric treatment is systematic desensitisation, i.e. to reduce the patient’s emotional or physiological sensitivity towards certain emotion or sensibility. I, on the contrary, would like to perceive these happenings and experiences through the hypersensitive bodily and emotional reactions, and observe the interrelations and mutual transformations of physical and mental activities. All these have become the inspiration for my paintings, while the hypersensitivity of the body has become the theme of this exhibition. Although they are all very personal and private experiences, I hope to express them through the portrayal of the gestures and movements of bodies in lines and brushstrokes.


Lulu NGIE (b.1972, Hong Kong) graduated from Hong Kong Art School in 2006, majoring in painting. Lulu Ngie delights in studying the human psyche as expressed through a person’s body language: how we stand, sit, lie and move, however subtly, reveals what we think and feel. When experiencing uncomfortable emotions such as acute embarrassment, anxiety or fear, we often try to protect ourselves by seeking distractions or rationalising our feelings. Sometimes we try to laugh it off. These and other coping mechanisms are almost instinctive. Just as the physical body can heal itself after suffering an injury, the mind, too, has the ability to recover its equanimity after a trauma. The desire to protect ourselves is strong in all living beings who seek self-preservation. Lulu shares her fascination in this often unnoticed but powerful part of our mental world.


29 October
26 November
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