Landscapes: Chen Wei, Chris Huen, Tomoko Kashiki, Hiraki Sawa
Ota Fine Arts Singapore is delighted to present "Landscapes", a group exhibition featuring 4 artists from East Asia: Chen Wei (China), Chris Huen (Hong Kong), Tomoko Kashiki (Japan) and Hiraki Sawa (Japan). Landscape has been a subject matter of many artists since centuries ago, regardless of geographical differences. It is a reflection of how mankind is constantly affected and inspired by his surroundings. Such observation towards one's environment speaks of the way one looks at things, how one internalizes it and subsequently converts it into memory. The artworks by these 4 artists reveal how this conceptualization works.
At first glance, the paintings of Chris Huen (b. 1991) seem to be simple sketches of his everyday environments, painted with an abundance of white spaces on the canvases. However, through his paintings, the artist attempts to reveal how memory functions in everyday life. Instead of painting from life or referencing photographs, Huen paints entirely from memory. By observing his surroundings, fermenting his encounters and finally recalling the memory after a period of time, the artist subconsciously filters and selects elements that are vital to his personal memory. This seeming casualness in his paintings is in actual fact quiet contemplations and careful compositions of his landscape, re-enacting his surroundings as much as he can remember. This exhibition also marks Huen's first collaboration with Ota Fine Arts.
Challenging the viewer's perception with surreal imagery are the works of Tomoko Kashiki (b. 1982). Kashiki's art practice is based on the act of transforming what she sees in her imaginative world into forms through her paintings and drawings. She creates her paintings by overlapping layers and weaving accumulated scenes, fermenting them, erasing them and sanding them down, and she repeats this process until her desired outcome is achieved. In one of her recent paintings, Yellow Hill (2015), she paints a distorted artist studio where indoor space blends into outdoor space, merging the two into an infinitely surreal yellow world, leaving for the viewers a vivid impression much like a daydream. Taking on an entirely different medium, Hiraki Sawa (b. 1977) is well-known for his video works that transcend ambiguous boundaries of the domestic and the public space. One would notice that the scenes appearing on screen are not straightforward documentations; rather, they are elegantly edited collages of fragmented moving images. While being intrigued by the world, Sawa re-creates landscapes using small objects, creating mystery in perspective.
Embodying a more serious undertone, Chen Wei (b. 1980) captures mysterious landscapes of unknown places and presents it in his photography works, often with underlying social commentaries. One of the main subjects of his work are young Chinese people. China is said to be enjoying quick economic development, but there is always an inevitable gap between reality and dream - this psychological gap is well depicted in his works. Future and Modern (2014) depicts optimistic and romanticized neon signs, representing the stereotypical hopes and dreams of the Chinese people and the hidden anxiety that they have towards their future and life.
Ota Fine Arts Singapore invites you to experience the various depictions and interpretations of landscapes by these 4 artists.