The Spaces Between the Words Are Almost Infinite《字裡行間》
HO Sin Tung 何倩彤
Ivy MA King Chu 馬琼珠
MAN Mei To 文美桃
5 September - 10 October, 2020
Opening: Saturday, 5 September 2020, 2 - 5 pm
Gallery EXIT is pleased to present the group exhibition "The spaces Between the Words Are Almost Infinite", a group exhibition of Ivy MA King Chu, HO Sin Ting, and MAN Mei To. The exhibition will open on 5 September 2020 and remain on view through 10 October 2020. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, 5 September from 2-5 pm.
Fear, anxiety, confusion – the everyday emotions stirred by the current circumstances have brought the three artists together for their first joint exhibition. The artists showcase new works in forms of drawings, sculptures, videos that are inspired by borrowed and fragmented materials from various film sources. These works have channelled sentiments of fear and pain abstractly and poetically.
These appropriations reconstruct the film classics with a new look and meaning. Ivy MA amplifies in the drawing series "Nosferatu, New Women and Vertigo" the emotions and imagery from classic films. The selected scenes were magnified, copied, and disassembled, with the surfaces patched with notches and gold foil. "Five Stars" are five folded five-pointed stars made of gold, resemble the presence of the national flag. Embedded in the gallery wall, the golden stars are in a dynamic from yet trapped in complete stillness. "Sand Dune" is a set of two images appropriated from existing images of government officials in a formal setup. Ivy MA cropped and immersed the images in an ashen tone, allowing the audience to interpret the news imagery from another perspective.
The new works of Ivy MA are minimal in form and yet meticulously expressed, juxtapose between a sense of weight and lightness. In "Seven Objects", Ivy MA addresses in the large scale drawing her distress of encountering the violent banging sound of police batons on the street. The black batons were enlarged to human size on paper as an act of confrontation throughout the painting process. In contrary to the stern and ruthlessness of a baton, the scattered scraps of puffcorn of "Be Good" is fragmented and weightless.
Inspired by Robert Bresson's film with the same title, MAN Mei To explores in "Pickpocket" the theme of loss and gain. The sculpture replicates the arms of a pocket-picker, in which they have been merged and sprouted from the same base. Its form depicts the hand movement during the act of stealing – the action of pulling out and inserting the hand with the stolen goods back into the pocket. Her other set of works "Crime Scene - Leg" and "Who is Murderer" were both inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s film "Frenzy". "Crime Scene - Leg" is a sculptural piece that captures the film's surreal scene of a human leg suddenly appears at the food market, immediately transforms the scene of the ordinary into a crime scene. "Who is Murderer" is a series of five photography works of body parts drifting in and out the tranquil waves, yet it evokes a sense of liberation.
MAN Mei To has been incorporating elements of amputated stumps and pathological illness in her works since the 2018 group exhibition "Zoo as Metaphor 2" at The Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences. She employs sensual bodily experience in film and photographic imagery, a medium in which often perceived as flat and two-dimensional. The large swaying tree in her work "Exit" opens up a new gateway from the exhibition space. The tree also echoes with her solo exhibition "Sediment and Undercurrent" in 2019.
HO Sin Tung addresses in her works the sentiment of waiting and longing. "Music To Cut Wrist To" and "Tomorrow Never Came" is a work on paper, transformed into a drawing of sheet music from a piece of music she repeatedly listened to during the time of waiting. The familiar discourse is conveyed into alien symbols, suppressed into resonant silence. "There Is no Magic" depicts the scene of a woman being dissected and abandoned by a magician on site. Both "Time Is His Toy" and "Patient" are paper works inspired by a scene from Billy Wilder's film "Witness for the Prosecution". It is a sequence of stacked pills, implying the passing of time. A pill symbolises the law of time, small in size yet powerful. "Full Dark, No Stars" is a three-channel video installation with scenes of gleaming light in darkness from various film sources and mixed with the artist’s footages of laser-pointed beams where her sight leads during the sleepless nights. Meanwhile, the artist anticipates in the dark for the messages to flash on the mobile screen. Much like the meditative screensaver imageries, its green light glows luminously and sparkly.
The exhibited artworks were created without the restraint of a curatorial framework, yet the completed works come together synchronised. The exhibition title, "The Spaces Between the Words Are Almost Infinite" is a film quote from Spike Jonze's "Her". It describes the ever-expanding textual space, loaded with information and emotions. The artists thereafter fill in between with footnotes of their own.