Discover “Asia Abstract” with Opera Gallery
The Art Exhibition Launches 28 Sept – 31 Oct, 2018
(Left to right – Afjehee Nasrollah - Untitled, Chu The-Chun - 26 Mars, Shiraga Kazuo – Untitled)
(Hong Kong – 21st August 2018) Opera Gallery will unveil a new group exhibition end September that celebrates the history and heritage of Asian art. Through abstract art, the exhibition will launch a dialogue that interlinks the past and present, traditional and modern designs, and Eastern and Western influences. Created through time-honored practices of traditional Asian art, each piece will reflect the artist’s diverse cultural background and experiences abroad. With specialized skills in ancient Middle Eastern calligraphy, traditional Chinese ink wash painting, and Korean scroll painting and papermaking, the exhibition will showcase artwork that have been crafted using painstaking attention, effort and time. “Asia Abstract” will boast a collection that fuses traditional methods with modern techniques. Conceptualized by the innovative artists, modern techniques reflect the artists’ state of mind and effectively address the themes of national identity, nature and humanity.
Featured Chinese-French artists, Zao Wou-Ki (b. 1920), Chu Teh-Chun (b. 1920)and Feng Xiao-Min (b. 1959) are known for their modernist approach in integrating traditional Chinese brush-and-ink technique with Western abstract art. Over the course of their artistic career in France, the artists have acquired techniques passed on by European masters and have adopted manners of abstract expressionism and lyrical abstraction. The rhythmic nuances demonstrated in their bold sweeping strokes of colours are reminiscent of Chinese landscape paintings. While the message of the artwork may be elusive, viewers are left to bask in the immense beauty and strong emotional impact derived from the artwork’s depth, poetry and musicality. Combining Western abstraction with Eastern sensibilities, the artists collectively aim to expand the limits of painting, express nature in its fullness and give an authentic Chinese vision of the world.
Selected works by Korean Contemporary artists, Bahk Seon-Ghi (b. 1966) and Suh Jeong-Min (b. 1962) reference authentic Korean customs and traditions. Bahk’s choice of using fragmented pieces of charcoal in his installations alludes to the traditional use of charcoal as an everyday tool for purification. Used to purify water and air, to eliminate odors, and to absorb harmful electromagnetic waves, charcoal is a powerful tool with unlimited purposes. Also holding cultural significance, charcoal would often be intertwined with straw rope and hung across the gates of traditional Korean households to announce the arrival of a newborn. Moreover, charcoal exists not only as a burnt relic, but also as a by-product of plants. Bahk, therefore, considers wood as an object that symbolizes the cyclicality of nature from generation to extinction. Similarly, Suh’s sculptural works are created using paper derived from the inner bark of the national Mulberry tree. Compressing, rolling and cutting hundreds of layers of hanji paper collected from printed poetry, ink painting and literary discards, Suh’s artwork bridges creative collaboration across generations of Korean history.Through utilizing secondary materials sourced from wood, Bahk and Suh both investigate the role of natural elements within the contemporary culture, the impermanence of human material and the duality of existence.
(Left to right: Om Ai-Mee -R122-PCK, Chu The-Chun – Ton Orange, Mohammad Ehsai –Untitled)
Another Korean painter specializing in layering techniques is Om Mee-Ai, known for her meticulously executed geometric abstract paintings. Her oil paintings, including R122-PCK and R122-OXP, are a mixture of multiplied grids and translucent layers of colours through a repetitive process of taping, layering and wiping to provoke viewer interaction. The names of the artworks are Om’s personal code name for each of her pieces. Om’s works are often featured in selected corporate collections in Singapore, Indonesia and China.
Painting primarily in the calligraphic, gestural style, Iranian contemporary artists Golnaz Fathi (b. 1972), Mohammad Ehsai (b. 1939) and Mohammad Mahdi Yaghoubian (b. 1974) weave together text and colour to bridge the gap between tradition and modernity. Calligraphy is unquestionably the fundamental element of Islamic art, poetry and religion. However, their artistic practices push the boundaries of traditional calligraphy and have become a medium in and of itself. Used for expressing the self, originality and creative impulses, the symbolic forms are metaphors for spiritual liberation. Moving beyond language, the letters are not painted to be understood but to redefine their connection with ancient roots. This concept is best exemplified in Ehsai’s works where he links the aesthetics of Persian calligraphy to the principles of modern painting; giving life to a vibrant visual texture often seen in abstract expressionist paintings. Equally, the dense, interlaced texts of Yaghoubian provide a contemplative space for language that does not rely on translation. Fathi’s use of texts and letters as formal elements is an example that transforms traditional calligraphy into a personal artistic language.
Exhibition dates: 28 Sept – 31 Oct, 2018
Opera Gallery, W Place, 52 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm | Sunday and Public Holidays: 12:00 am - 6:00 pm
Golnaz Fathi, Untitled, 142 x 170 cm
Zao Wou-Ki, Untitled, 117.6 x 97 cm
Bahk Seon-Ghi, An aggregate, 270 x 45 X 45 cm
Suh Jeong-Min, Absence of a wordly desire, 140 x 140 cm
ABOUT OPERA GALLERY GROUP
Founded by Gilles Dyan in 1994, Opera Gallery is one of the leading international dealers and representatives of Modern and Contemporary Art. Opera Gallery is established worldwide with galleries in prime locations in New York, Miami, Aspen, London, Paris, Monaco, Geneva, Zurich, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, Beirut and Dubai. Since its inception, Opera Gallery has strived to offer museums, foundations and private international art collectors’ unique access to a diversity of Modern and Contemporary artists through an exciting program of curated exhibitions and high profile art fairs. In addition to the extensive and varied curated program of exhibitions within our gallery network, Opera Gallery secures and protects the heritage of established Modern and Contemporary artists through collaborations with museums, art centers and foundations around the world.
Issued by GHC Asia on behalf of Opera Gallery Hong Kong
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