Stephen WONG Chun Hei: A Grand Tour in Google Earth 黃進曦《孤高的旅程》
Stephen WONG Chun Hei 黃進曦
A Grand Tour in Google Earth《孤高的旅程》
3 July – 7 August, 2021
Gallery EXIT is pleased to present the solo exhibition “A Grand Tour in Google Earth” by Stephen WONG Chun Hei. The new series of works combine both realistic and imaginative depictions of scenery. They show the artist’s continuing exploration of landscape painting. The global pandemic has affected many aspects of our life. As a result, Wong is unable to travel and sketch as usual. He decides to embark on a series of grand virtual journeys around the world in Google Earth. The artist visits and paints sceneries of various iconic locations such as Mount Fuji, Étretat, and Machu Picchu without leaving his studio in Hong Kong.
The exhibition features a new series of entrancing large works and a group of smaller postcard-sized paintings. Wong uses Google Earth to reach various destinations worldwide to paint the breathtaking landscapes, from natural environment to historical sites. The artist references 360-degree panoramic images to present angle and perspective rarely seen in painting.
"Big Tree Trail" illustrates towering redwoods in a national park in California. Wong combines sections of a panoramic image into a single frame to present an unusual vertical forest landscape.
The large five-panel work "Mount Fuji" is a result of the artist's past travel memories and new experiences from this virtual tour. Each panel depicts the iconic scenery at a different time of the day, recreating the experience of ascending and descending the mountain.
"Étretat" shows the famous white chalk cliffs on the northern coastline of France. These natural wonders have been featured in paintings by famous 19th century artists such as Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and Gustave Courbet. Wong has always longed for a "pilgrimage" to the spot. He uses Google Earth’s bird's-eye view to put three of Étretat’s most spectacular cliffs in the same picture, creating a full view of the coastal terrain that previous artists could not show.
"Mount Akina" is a testimony to the artist’s continuing exploration of scenery in animation and video game. The work presents the famous circuit in the Japanese street racing manga "Initial D". The location in the manga is based on the actual five consecutive hairpin turns of Mount Haruna in Gunma Prefecture of Japan. With the unique angle and perspective, viewers feel like racing through narrow and winding mountain roads at night.
Also featured in the exhibition are more than 100 postcard-sized paintings. They capture the beautiful moments of some seemingly unremarkable everyday scenes Wong encounters wandering around Google Earth.