THE CONTEMPLATION GARDEN

CURATORIAL STATEMENT

Altermodernists Projects presents The Contemplation Garden, a project exploring possibilities in urban space and the realm of exhibitions, with a group of artists living and working in Hong Kong.  The project runs a series of exhibitions by artists with diverse interests in materials, artistic forms and approaches, yet they shared a mutual concern with human conditions inspired by experiences in the city they reside.

Gardens were places for people to contemplate in the western medievals, for people to hide from the daily mundane and think about the spiritual aspects of life[1]; whereas the traditional Japanese gardens are designed with philosophical ideas related to the aesthetic appreciation of the evanescence of life[2].  The Contemplation Garden constructs an invisible breathing space (‘the garden’) connected by the spread-out sites, to investigate its relationship with the society and among the sites.

The two-part project presents artworks in sites close to daily life, where people come and go for anything but art, and taps into the sphere of art in non-gallery space, where artworks are perceived with the usual senses.

LI Fung Chun’s Chinese ink paintings and Redtonetone handmade paper collages at HABITU table Queen’s Road East and Cityplaza Eslite Spectrum mark the inauguration of the project.

Inspired by her change of daily routine in recent months, LI depicts the eternal recurrence in life with her sequence of Chinese ink paintings in the exhibition Sunrise, Sunset. The heavily textured ink-wash works on paper are created with unconventional tools; they are exhibited side by side to create an imaginary instance where the sun rises and sets concurrently.

Paper artist Redtonetone sees passing along ancient paper making technique as her calling.  In the exhibition For-Paper-rest, she extends her handmade paper into art-making and experiments with forms and shapes in a series of paper collages.  The earthly works documents the artist’s process, her attempt to reconnect with nature in the dedicated practice and the will to belief.

The second part of The Contemplation Garden extends to new territories with Victor CHU Chi Kuen’s line drawings and Elaine WONG Suk Yin’s photo installation.

Every hand-drawn line in Victor’s works is a record of the time when he missed a person.  The poetic expression transformed memories into imageries, and lines into abstraction.  In his exhibition Serried at theDesk, a co-working space in the Saiyingpun community, the artist pushes the boundaries of 2-dimensional graphic elements into a higher level of aesthetic possibilities, at the same time reminiscing humanism and nature.

Back in the warm-lit HABITU table at Cityplaza Eslite Spectrum, Elaine subtly intervene the space by mounting dreamy waves images onto the mirrors, turning reflective surfaces into canvases.  The site-specific photo installations in her exhibition The Perpetual Flow accompanied with suggestive texts and quotes that rhyme with the emotional visuals to challenge perception.

The Contemplation Garden unites not only artists from different background but also spectators from daily encounters at different stages of their lives, it stretches the possibilities of art and connections in the urban landscape.

misswong@altermodernists

(Jul 10 2017)

 


[1] Ziegler, Vickie. “The Contemplation Garden.” Center for Medieval Studies. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2017. <http://www.psu.edu/dept/liberalarts/sites/medieval/garden/contemplationgarden.html>.

[2] Koren, Leonard. Wabi-Sani for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers. Point Reyes: Imperfect Publishing, 2008. Print.

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