BACKSTAGE PARTY Presented by Woaw Gallery x Stems Gallery Private View: 12 pm – 3 pm, Saturday, 15th May, 2021 Media Preview Dates: 12 pm – 3 pm, Monday, 17th May, 2021 Exhibition Dates: 11am – 6pm, May 16th to June 14th, 2021 Address: Woaw Gallery, 5 Sun Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Woaw Gallery x Stems Gallery are pleased to present Backstage Party, a group exhibition curated by, and in collaboration with Stems Gallery in Belgium. The exhibition will be on view from May 15th to June 14th, 2021, with an opening reception on Saturday, 15th May from 12-3 pm at Woaw Gallery, 5 Sun Street, Wan Chai.
The exhibition features work by European and American artists Allison Zuckerman (USA, b.1990), Clément Poplineau (France, b.1991), Emma Webster (USA/UK, b.1989), Julien Boudet (France, b.1985), Léo Luccioni (France, b.1994), Paul Rouphail (USA, b. 1987) and Tyrrell Winston (USA, b.1985).
For almost a year, parties and large gatherings have been prohibited by the law all over the world. At the start of the lockdowns, and in the face of our ignorance regarding the propagation of the virus, people indisputably respected the rules enforced. As the situation progressed, the regulations alleviated, to be reinforced and then alleviated once again, and so on. This oscillating game, between what we may or may not do, depending on the period and the region of the world one is, has only amplified the incomprehension of the populations regarding governmental decisions.
Unable to travel to Hong Kong to celebrate the Hong Kong art month and the soon-to-be resolution of the pandemic, Stems Gallery and their artists are enjoying that party incognito, celebrating backstage the end of this dark and sombre era. Much like this past year, a majority of the works presented are obscure and of darker tones. But similar to any downturn in life, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, for it is full of life. We hope to convey this feeling of hope and anticipation through this selection of works and that visitors will be able to connect and perhaps even party with us.\
Although distinct from one another, each of the works featured presents a facet of capitalism and consumerism – from globalization, to production, self-identity, and environmental deficit, being the cost of excessive materialism. Deeply attached to street culture and hip hop, Julien Boudet recontextualizes luxury brands by utilizing counterfeit products, effectively blurring the line between real and fake. Similar to Boudet’s practice, Léo Luccioni constantly make use of capitalist notions – more specifically, counterfeit culture and advertising slogans – to apply to his works. The apple, the forbidden fruit, is a commercial product, inviting the audience to bite into it.
Clément Poplineau paints Renaissance- or Baroque-like, realistic portraits of French banlieue youngsters, demonstrating the shifting of identity linked to the rise of capitalism. Allison Zuckerman combines elements from historical paintings and internet culture as a point of departure and utilize paint and digitally manipulated images to create hybridized portraits with cultural and societal critiques. In Tyrrell Winston’s work, the artist speaks of the rise and fall of Mickey Mantle, baseball prodigy but known alcoholic, someone with “pure talent” but not “pure spirit”. Mantle’s life was characteristic to the role sports play in contemporary society. Finally, Emma Webster and Paul Rouphail’s serene works both suggest the cost of mass-consumption over the environment.
Backstage Party is a celebratory event. It marks the end of this long period of our lives marked by solitude and uncertainty, and the beginning of a new period full of joy, where we can go back to our joyful selves. Although, some of us are not on site to celebrate, know that we are partying behind the scenes with you.