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31 August 2022 - 30 September 2022Free
Cultivating a cross-cultural, dynamic dialogue between Hong Kong local artists and multinational artists from America, Asia, Australia, Europe, and West Africa, Nothing At All is pleased to present Voyage, our first group exhibition on view from August 31 to September 30. As the title conveys, this exhibition sets off with an ambitious agenda to address modern issues from socio-cultural phenomena to emotional turbulence on a personal level.
Placing works by 10 prominent artists carefully selected across the world, including Samson Bakare, Adrian Chan, Ryan Chan, Matthew Eguavoen, Jo Gyuhun, Ralf Kokke, Ryan McCann, Nathan Paddison, Michael Polakowski, and Tang Shuo, most of whom are having their first presentations in Hong Kong, the exhibition creates a dazzling conversation between various cultures and hence depicts an unprecedentedly vibrant landscape of contemporary art condensed in the unique, multicultural environment of Hong Kong.
Samson Bakare (b. 1993, Lagos, Nigeria) is a Nigerian artist of multiple disciplines. Inspired by his architect father, he began his journey into a creative world at a tender age and graduated from the School of Art, Yaba college of technology. His work centers around propagation of black identity and values in both contemporary and retrospective context. While representing historical scenes, he has been able to document black people in different time and space. His latest paintings, I Will Blow Your Mind and Taiwo the Dreamer, on view in Voyage, present a hybrid form of classicism and stylisation that has become his signature style, and feature portraits of African with blank expressions, reconstructed forms, and a fusion of comical rendition.
Adrian Chan (b. 1995, Hong Kong) became fascinated with painting at an early age. He attended Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where he graduated in 2019 as an honoured student in double majors of painting and illustration, and a minor in drawing in Bachelor of Fine Art. His adventurous and vibrant spirit grew from his passion in music, film, car racing, and horse racing. Painting, drawing, and illustration are the medium of choice for his creative expression. His work allows him to constantly explore new ideas and techniques, inviting the viewers to experience his creation in diverse ways. He has an eye for details and design; he urges high standards in whatever work he undertakes.
Ryan Chan (b. 1996, Hong Kong) implants an unusual theme amongst his art by being one of the very first Hong Kong emerging artists who venture into the contemporary realm of geometric abstraction. He studied in a few different international schools and started to create during a young age. He treasured his artwork as a medium to express his emotions and awareness on life. When it comes to movements, Surrealism and conceptual art are the choices Chan picked, building progress techniques borrowed from a comic studio, making the picture half realistic without losing detail. Ryan was influenced from popular artists such as Salvador Dali, Bill Viola and other modern contemporaries including Wayne Douglas Barlowe and Takashi Murakami, to build a style he called upon his own view to make something unique and strong looking.
Matthew Eguavoen (b. 1988, Lagos, Nigeria) questions the enduring effects of mental and physical slavery on the ordinary Nigerian citizen, who despite living in a free and sovereign nation, still live their lives as though they are slaves on a 18th century North American plantation, bowing without question or hesitation to the powers that be. Hauntingly beautiful and striking, his portraits belie a deeper pain and an inaudible cry for help, which the lingering gaze of his muses allude to. In his latest work Who Fixes Us When We Leave, which revolves around the social distress for the increase in migration of Africa, there is a sense of powerlessness conveyed in the woman’s gaze piercing through the spatial distance with anyone looking at it, revealing that the underlying causes remain unsettled.
Jo Gyuhun (b. 1982, Incheon, Republic of Korea) begins to paint these “Children Hiding Their Faces” as he is inspired by a significant scene of a film that he has fortuitously come across, that a girl in a white shirt is crying with her hands covering her face. This scene has left a strong impression on him and later encouraged him to paint with children as his subject. As he explained his concept, he mentions that he can feel these different feelings and expressions of children hidden behind their hands, and he also hopes the audiences can enjoy the moment when they are imagining the facial expressions behind these hands.
The colourful, playful paintings by Ralf Kokke (b. 1989, Rotterdam, The Netherlands) originate from a subconsciousness, a fantasy that is as close to his dream world as possible. In capturing these often-inexplicable images, he creates a situation in which he can work that allows these images to be expressed uninhibitedly and unfiltered. With a mixture of happiness and a certain sadness he creates an imaginative world of care-free moments the viewer might like to go to. His intuitive style, in which he zooms in on older works and brings together old themes with new themes, shows how he keeps on developing the subject of Western and European art history and how it changes together with today’s culture.
Ryan McCann (b. 1979, Los Angeles, USA) consistently explores social constructs, creating works that encourage people to rethink and alter their perception of the mundane and awareness of everyday belief systems and realities. “I have a deep-rooted curiosity to understand why humanity exists the way it does.” He creates as a painter, sculptor, photographer, and pyrographer constantly challenging himself to make art that invites viewers to see the world differently.
Nathan Paddison (b. 1983, Australia) is a self-taught contemporary artist and has established a unique, contemporary art style characterised by vigorous and expressive brushworks, gestural marks and indistinct language known to the artist that channel the experiences of his troubled past. His strong lines and approach to palette meld closely with the physicality and urgency in which he works, as well as the bold colours and larger-than-life characters. His works are greatly inspired by the well-known art masters such as Pablo Picasso, Cy Twombly and Jean-Michel Basquiat, who he believes are conveying a sense of fearlessness and freedom in their works.
Through a perceptive lens of, “not everything is quite right here”, Michael Polakowski (b. 1994, Midwestern USA) reveals how, within the everyday, the viewer has the opportunity to find meaning, belonging, and a sense of logic within the illogical. Polakowski’s studio work adopts the same visual language of his murals, that being lush detail, vibrant colours, and narrative imagery sourced from his life and travels. The artist diligently observes and documents his environment, processing what he witnesses with a candid and conscious eye to produce his surreal imagery. His work is best described as a surrealist depiction of Middle America, an often- overlooked narrative within American Art.
Tang Shuo (b. 1987, Guangxi, China) was a graduate at Guangxi Academy of art studying murals and Beijing Central Academy of fine arts studying experimental art. Later, he engaged in the creation of material art and installation art before he moved to Liverpool in 2020 and began to paint. The puppet image is derived from the image of his main works, which are mainly from his self-portraits. As he stated, the hairstyles of the characters in his main body of works are an essential element, thus he transfers them to the puppet in the form of wigs. “This is only a joke, but I also hope to create a spiritual connection between me and the puppet.”
- 31 August 2022
- 30 September 2022
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