Dony CHENG Hung 鄭虹 : Elaboration of the reflected lights 《由光的倒影開始》
LAU Siu Chung 劉兆聰 : Let's go somewhere 《外邊走走》
12 February 2022 - 12 March 2022
Dony CHENG Hung 鄭虹
Dony Cheng Hung has a talent for observing the various forms of light and shadow that appear within the urban structure. The artist considers the linkage between ‘light’ and ‘space’ in the urban landscape, and the changes that affect their visual manifestation and transformation in the passage of time. Using a combination of soft pastel, charcoal, acrylic and colour ink, Cheng creates smooth painted surfaces, in the space of which emerges all kinds of refracted light and light sources that can be found everywhere.
The spaces and details in Cheng’s works are all drawn from real life, from places the artist frequents or observes on a daily basis. Yet the familiar details in the real world, such as the forms of buildings, signs, objects, material textures, etc. are all erased from the painting, so that the pictorial world becomes an abstract, dematerialised static space.
The ‘light’ in the works is not only a physical object, but also a symbol that determines the nature of the space, such as the sparkling light waves on the sea’s surface, the tile-shaped light slabs on the road’s surface, or the light and shadow diamonds spilled into the room through the window frame, constantly morphing with the flow of time. Through various vessels, immaterial light is given different shapes and forms. In the paintings, the source of light are deliberately muddled, Cheng plays with the distance and intensity of light in her imagination. Amidst the pitch black of City Lake, the light body which constitutes the focal point, and the water’s surface reflecting the light from illumination, are abstracted.
Cheng’s recent works focus more on reconstructing the artist’s impression of the urban space, as well as the various lights and shadows she has encountered, combined with fantasy, into synthetic landscapes. During the creative process, Cheng alters the rules of manifestation of real space in the pictorial space: Lights and shadows, the immaterial and the material are reversed, and the lines separating the interior and exterior become ambiguous. At the same time, the overall structure of the space also changes with the brightness of the light source. In Inverted lake, the upper part of the painting evokes the twilight sky, the mirror-surface of the night sea, a ‘light’ that defines the pictorial space.
The spatial and visual influence of ‘temporality’ lies in the core of Cheng’s creation. In recent years, the artist has begun creating with video. For her, the medium confers temporality upon the pictorial surface, where ‘light’, ‘space’ and ‘time’ are more intimately connected. In the video work Moving Puddles, the forms of the moving and refracting light sources reflected on the sea’s surface are constantly changing, differing from the light body and yet are born of it. There are other computer generated ‘light surfaces’ of gradient colours, and simulated spaces transformed by moving lights, within which the shapes of ‘space’ and ‘light’ are endlessly changing like a looped video, all the while being in a constant state.
LAU Siu Chung 劉兆聰
For the first time at Gallery EXIT, Lau Siu Chung exhibits a new series of large-scale oil paintings, created from everyday sceneries around the artist, who has captured his impressions of the momentous urban landscapes and street happenings, bringing a unique viewing experience with constantly changing lines and layered compositions.
Let’s go somewhere, as suggested by the exhibition title, is about the artist’s personal travel experience, and how living in a busy city, he has a particular yearning for nature in the countryside due to recent changes in the mode of travel as a result of the pandemic.
Some of the works are based on the Hong Kong cityscape inhabited by the artist, whose persona often figures in the paintings, leading the viewers into the busy streets from a first-person perspective. At the same time, natural elements such as trees and parks are constant motifs in the artist’s creation.
Other works highlight Lau’s family outings and the natural landscapes perceived therein. The series resembles a portrait of the artist’s everyday life, reflecting his change of mood as he traverses from city to nature.
The large-scale oil painting The Hiking Fever is the first completed work in this series, rendered from a urban perspective, overlooking the neighbouring hills. Large swaths of hillside occupy the central pane, looming large amidst the surrounding city architecture, echoing the artist’s yearning for the countryside while exhibiting the unique landscape of Hong Kong where the boundary between urban and rural is often blurred.
The Enclosure series documents the park facilities frequented by the artist and his daughter, which are sealed off with barricade tape during the pandemic, when the most ordinary of daily activities are forcefully ground to a halt. The park facilities are right there, yet out of reach.
In High Island Reservoir East Dam, Lau extends his landscape to the suburbs of Sai Kung in the New Territories, where the pleasant sojourn to High Island Reservoir East Dam with family and friends is portrayed in pastel tones. On the upper left, the disproportionately giant kite is particularly eye-catching. Together with the enlarged dolos blocks on the breakwater, they constitute the most poignant details in the artist’s memory. Yet even here barricade tapes find their way into the countryside: Even when one escapes into the wild, there is no ridding of the constraints of reality.