Firenze LAI: absent-minded 黎清妍《恍惚》
17 September - 15 October 2011
Gallery EXIT presents "absent-minded", the first solo exhibition of Firenze Lai with the gallery. A selection of 14 works on paper from 2009 - 2011 will be on view. These drawings are formed by re-interpreting the idea of a portrait, a garden scene, playground or a sport activity in unfamiliar ways with emphases on the constructive and expressive role accorded to color and shade. At first sight the images may look comforting and innocent, but then the blurry faces and bleak sceneries slowly transport the viewer to a shadowland where the unbearable weight of daily living infuses the air, as if the lines and colors are muttering a broken song, finding the words to the next melody.
Run Run Run depicts three figures' continuous attempts to break away. The runners are strapped to an unknown origin by sinewy elastic belts. Their awkward postures suggest fatigue, as if all efforts to escape are futile. Much like the Fauves, Lai's use of idiosyncratic color combinations is directed by her spontaneous emotions towards the subject matter. In striking contrast is Contour (#3), where tenuous ink lines are employed to portray emotions. In this work, the man looks absent minded, while a coarse oval encircling his facial features. Lai takes inspiration from her daily encounters in this metropolis, from sightings of eccentric individuals to scenes she witnesses on the streets. Though the places in her drawings are unrecognizable, her works are psychological landscapes of the muted sentiments in Hong Kong.
Firenze Lai graduated from the Hong Kong Art School with a focus in painting. Her drawings regularly appear in a column on psychology in Ming Pao Weekly.