2014

Two Voices: Ling  Pui Sze & Stephen Eastuagh, China Art Projects – project space, Hong Kong 20 October – 1 November 2014

www.lingpuisze.com / www.stepheneastaugh.com.au

Artists: Ling  Pui Sze, Stephen Eastuagh

Recent fine arts graduate, Ling Pui Sze had her first significant exhibition in early 2014 at Hong Kong’s Gallery Exit. In this latest exhibition, she expands on her interest in the natural world of microscopic cells and animals and will exhibit new collage/ink paintings. In contrast, veteran Australian artist Stephen Eastaugh has travelled and exhibited around the world in numerous solo and group exhibitions over the last thirty years. Eastaugh has built an impressive body of artwork about Antarctica and Asia.

John Batten Hong Kong October 2014.

Family – Laura Simonsen, China Art Projects – project space, Hong Kong, 6 – 12 October 2014

www.laurasimonsen.com

The purpose of this photographic project is to raise awareness, acceptance and understanding about families of a diverse nature eg.2 fathers, 2 mothers, single parent, adopted children, transgender etc. Diversity is a part of our society but as yet to be integrated fully into the culture that is the modern world. This is the first part of the project and also the introduction to the continuation of the project that I would like to one day turn into a book to celebrate diversity. I will continue to photograph such families.

Laura Simonsen Hong Kong.

Hu Qinwu- Illumination, NKN Gallery, Melbourne, 2014

Hu Qinwu believes paintings should speak of what is inside, not out. His works are richly textured and layered. Bold red canvases reveal dark shadows beneath, and expansive black paintings give way to a deep glow. A myriad of seemingly organized dots, lines and monochromatic colour traverse the surface of each work. Much of his work is a dialogue of oppositions – day and night, space and fullness, control and release. In his notebook he describes his works as microcosms, explaining that there is no middle dot, there is no centre – but there is harmony. For him, this harmony is an open and unlimited feeling – like the Buddhist idea of ‘kong’, or empty space.

Sophie McKinnon Beijing March 2009.

Two Voices – Vicki Grace & Hu Qinwu, China Art Projects – project space, 10 – 30 September 2014

Artists: Vicki Grace & Hu Qinwu

Laying down pigment is like a mantra. A moving meditation that is mindful of the spirit of the paint as much as the feel of the strokes. In this way each painting has its own history. Though not all visible on the surface, its memory is embedded in the layers. Shapes hover and shift in an ever changing field. Is the painting evolving or dissolving, appearing or disappearing. Finding stillness in a state of flux.

Vicki Grace Sydney Hong Kong 2014.

Two Voices – Paul Boston & Hu Qinwu, Niagara Galleries & China Art Projects – project space, 15 – 31 May 2014

Artists: Paul Boston & Hu Qinwu

It is not hard to realize that the works of Australian artists Paul Boston and Chinese artists Hu Qinwu have elements in common – they both reference deep cultural and spiritual practice, Boston from his extensive studies of Zhen and Hu from his deep knowledge of Buddhist thought. They do not dwell on the outcomes of their journey – both in life and art – but the process of “getting there”. Their work has similar aesthetic qualities – perhaps the souls have similar intent.

Tony Scott Hong Kong 2014.

Zhou Hongbin, Amelia Johnston Gallery, Hong Kong, 17 September – 11 October 2014

In China’s distant imperial past scholar artists saw ink painting as a vehicle for personal expression, like handwriting. In the work of contemporary Xiamen-based photographer Zhou Hongbin we can see something of the same sensibility, even at times similar imagery of misty mountains and sparsely calligraphic tree branches, but with a contemporary twist. In her ‘moon-window’ photographs and Aquarium series of pet rabbits joyfully (and most unexpectedly!) swimming underwater we see the traditions of ink painting transformed. It has become a language of light – a photographic practice which reinvents the literati tradition in a delightful and playful manner.

Zhou Hongbin: A Liminal UtopiaLuise Guest Sydney 2014.

Zhou Hongbin: A Liminal Utopia

In China’s distant imperial past scholar artists saw ink painting as a vehicle for personal expression, like handwriting. In the work of contemporary Xiamen-based photographer Zhou Hongbin we can see something of the same sensibility, even at times similar imagery of misty mountains and sparsely calligraphic tree branches, but with a contemporary twist. In her ‘moon-window’ photographs and Aquarium series of pet rabbits joyfully (and most unexpectedly!) swimming underwater we see the traditions of ink painting transformed. It has become a language of light – a photographic practice which reinvents the literati tradition in a delightful and playful manner.

Zhou references traditional motifs and imagery in distinctly non-traditional ways. In the ‘Aquarium’ series her beloved pet rabbits, multiplied through digital magic, swim energetically through a mysterious watery world, a liminal no-place where the impossible becomes possible. It’s an imagined Utopia, far from the real Chinese urban world of constant demolition, chaos, redevelopment, pollution and environmental destruction. The artist has said that she intends to create “lovely and pure thoughts…and avoid the conflict of reality.”

The rabbits, deer, birds and other animals which appear in her photographs are symbolic of the artist herself, embodiments of the feminine. She creates a digitally manipulated Garden of Eden, in which mysterious white horses inhabit the urban built space, overlooked by prosaic apartment blocks, and the pregnant artist and her rabbits float, weightless, in an enchanted aquarium.

These fairy-tale images are surprisingly subversive, inserting the artist and her stand-ins – rabbits, deer, birds and horses – into the fluid imagined landscapes of the literati. It was impossible for a woman to become a scholar in imperial China, as they were not permitted to take the rigorous examinations. Zhou, however, insinuates herself and her animal avatars into a history from which she has been excluded. The apparent “truth” of photography becomes something quite different, a world in which the impossible can, and does, happen.

Luise Guest, Sydney 2014.