Beside the City 城外

日期
07/09/2019 - 11:00 - 05/10/2019 - 18:00
地址
GALLERY EXIT 安全口
3/F, 25 Hing Wo Street, Tin Wan, Aberdeen, Hong Kong

Beside the City

Stephen WONG Chun Hei
YEUNG Hok Tak

​7 Septemeber - 5 October 2019
Opening: 7 September 2019, 4 -7 pm

Gallery EXIT is pleased to announce "Beside the City", a joint exhibition by Stephen WONG Chun Hei and YEUNG Hok Tak. The exhibition will open on 7 September 2019 and remain on view through 5 October 2019. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, 7 September from 4pm to 7pm.

The works in this exhibition are the result of an unusual project. After meeting at WONG's 2018 solo show at Gallery EXIT, the two Hong Kong artists agreed to join forces. Soon, they came up with a plan: they would visit different places in the territory's countryside together and afterwards paint what they had seen on their excursions.

The idea was inspired by a historical collaboration. In the summer of 1869, the French painters Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir decided to travel to a place outside Paris to work alongside each other. Their views of LaGrenouillère, a floating café and popular bathing spot on the river Seine, are key works in the development of the impressionist style of painting.

Following the example of their French forebears, YEUNG and WONG visited a number of scenic spots in Hong Kong, such as Tai Tam Reservoir, Lamma Island or Cape D'Aguilar at the extreme southeastern corner of Hong Kong Island. But unlike Monet and Renoir, who painted "en plein air", or on the spot, the two contemporary artists were content with making sketches or taking photos. Later, they used this material to create the final works on their own, in the isolation of their studios.

As a result, their views of the same place often differ dramatically. Combining influences from both Western and Eastern art, WONG's work has stronger ties to traditional landscape painting. Over the past years, his artistic production has almost exclusively revolved around Hong Kong's natural scenery. Continuing this theme, his most recent canvases feature wide skies, sweeping mountain ranges and expansive coastlines.

Although they have real places as their subject, WONG's vistas are not constrained by realism. They are dreamlike reimaginations of past experience, idealised sceneries as seen by the mind's eye. Often, they abandon the Western rules of perspective in favour of the flattened space of Chinese mountain-and-water painting. In his large panorama of Tai Tam Reservoir, the succession of peaks appears compressed, drawing the viewer irresistibly into a world of winding roads and mountain paths.

YEUNG's work takes this rejection of realism even further. To him, the outdoor experience is only the starting point of an associative process that frequently leads into unexpected territory. His paintings can be satirical or nostalgic, comedic or tragic, surreal or subtly political. Often, they are all these things at the same time.

One of his paintings shows a whale skeleton erected at Cape D'Aguilar. But in YEUNG's imagination, the scene merges with the Fire Dragon Dance, an annual performance during which 300 participants carry a 67-metre-long straw dragon through the streets of Hong Kong's Tai Hang neighbourhood. In this way, what started as a simple observation becomes a pointed jab at Chinese traditionalism.

Seen next to each other, YEUNG's chimeric inventions and WONG's immersive landscapes make for a fascinating comparison. But as different as they may seem, they have one thing in common. They are the result of a shared curiosity - a curiosity that has brought two artists together and can serve as an inspiration for others.

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《城外》

黃進曦
楊學德

2019年9月7日至10月5日
開幕: 2019年9月7日下午4時至7時

安全口畫廊呈獻黃進曦及楊學德雙人聯展《城外》,展覽於2019年9月7日至10月5日開放,開幕酒會在9月7日(星期六)下午4時至7時舉行。

一次非比尋常的合作,造就了今次一系列作品。兩位生於香港的藝術家,在黃進曦的2018年安全口個展相遇後,計劃一起前往香港郊野,各自以畫筆抒發所見所感。

《城外》的意念源自一次歷史性的藝術合作:1869年夏天,法國畫家莫奈與雷諾瓦同遊巴黎城外,一同寫生作畫。他們對青蛙塘(La Grenouillère)--設有水上餐廳和泳點的塞納河度假勝地,以個人視點觀察演繹,作品對印象派的發展意義深遠。

黃楊兩人仿效法國大師的藝術步伐,遊歷了香港多個郊外地區,如大潭水塘、南丫島和香港島東南端的鶴咀。唯一不同的是,兩位當代藝術家沒有像莫奈和雷諾瓦般在戶外完成作品,直接呈現自然日光;反之,他們寫生和拍照後運用手上素材,各自在工作室作畫。

結果,他們對同一個地方的演繹迥然不同。黃進曦的作品結合中西藝術元素,受山水風景畫薰陶。近年其創作聚焦香港的大自然風光,今次延續這個題材,呈現無垠的天空、連綿的山巒和開闊的海岸。

雖然取材自實景,但黃進曦筆下的景致卻遊走寫實裏外,將所見所聞化成夢一般的理想化風景。他偏離西方透視法,趨向中國山水畫的空間處理,景物彷彿堆疊而上。大潭水塘大風坳的全景油畫中,接續不斷的山巒看似被壓縮了,帶領觀眾進入引人入勝的世界,置身蜿蜒道路和山間小徑之中。

楊學德的作品距離寫實主義更遠。對他來說,戶外寫生只是創作的開端,一連串的聯想,經常把他帶到意想不到的境界。作品或帶幽默諷刺,或帶懷舊之情,引人發笑或傷感,超現實或帶政治隱喻--這些特質經常同時呈現。

其中一幅畫以鶴咀的殺人鯨「海威」骨架為起點,但在楊的幻想中,眼前的鯨骨令他想起由300人抬動揮舞的大坑火龍。簡單直接的觀察,竟延伸至對中國傳統主義的尖刻諷喻。

楊學德的「加鹽加醋」之作,與黃進曦的臥遊風景,並列展出別有一番趣味。不過,儘管兩者看來南轅北轍,但其實同樣體現了對事物的好奇,好奇心使兩人惺惺相惜,也為觀眾帶來啟迪。

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