Fluid Maze: Group Exhibition February 6 – March 13, 2024 WOAW Gallery 3 & 5 Sun Street Wan Chai, Hong Kong
WOAW Gallery is proud to present “Fluid Maze”, a group exhibition showcasing the works of eight distinguished local artists – Hector Chan, IV Chan, Dony Cheng, SSAN Hui, Mandy Lau, Florence Lee, Wong Ka Ying, and Wu Jiaru – as they experiment with different mediums to question the meaning of “seeing”. Whether they live or grew up in Hong Kong, the artists are all connected by the city. The essence of Hong Kong is embedded in their works as they each weave their individual experiences, forming a maze of their consciousness in an interplay between each artwork and the bigger picture. The group exhibition “Fluid Maze” will be on view on February 6 – March 13, 2024, at the gallery’s Wan Chai location.
The term “fluid” refers to a lack of fixed shape. Like liquid, it is floating, formless, and freely flowing. In the realm of art, we try to stay afloat by grasping at ideas amidst a sea of deeper connotations and interpretations as we seek to find the “correct” answer. But like liquid, art is not anchored to a single thought – it is an endless flow of ideas as it fills and takes the form of the space it occupies, presenting various meanings forever in flux. Instead of finding the “true meaning”, “Fluid Maze” encourages visitors to simply enjoy the experience of seeing art. Let the art carry you to no destination, and simply allow yourself to be lost in the maze.
In an experimental interplay of various visual media, “Fluid Maze” explores the possibilities of seeing art through the unique perspective of eight Hong Kong artists, seeking to capture the collective experience of a city’s generation with the subtle details of daily life. Not all of the artists were born and raised in Hong Kong, but the city holds a special place in the growth of their creative practice. Each of their works represents their own story – offering both a direct and indirect dialogue between them and the city, the artists record different narratives of humanistic stories through portraiture and landscape with painting, installation art, and video.
Observation is the first step to establishing a connection between the people and the environment, bringing awareness to the surrounding landscape, events, and objects. Dony Cheng’s paintings mainly utilize lines and colors to explore the connection between our senses and our surrounding urban landscape in our daily lives. Her flat, empty landscapes make us wonder: is she imagining the world in its original state? SSAN Hui’s works are based on his observations of birds in Australia and Hong Kong as he ponders the relationship between humans and other species.
By integrating different symbols found in his daily life into his works, he draws attention to his natural surroundings and raises questions regarding the environment. Meanwhile, Florence Lee uses experimental animation to assemble and stage ephemeral bodies, personal stories, and poetic visual metaphors in her practice, through which she unearths ideas and inspirations from her daily encounters in Hong Kong — the city where she grew up — to investigate the multilayered connection between herself and her cultural identity. Alternatively, Mandy Lau uses mixed media in order to capture the nuances of her feelings. Not only does she use oil paint and acrylic, she also incorporates common stationary such as tape, sticky notes, pencils and coloured pencils in her creative process. Her abstract images allow her to not only transform her complex emotions, but to remove all associations until all that is left is intuition.
Creation, on the other hand, is bare, where the displayed work reveals intimate thoughts and emotions to the world. The artist’s personal experiences are woven into their creations like subtle clues. The rōnin (浪人), also known as the wanderer, in Hector Chan’s paintings is associated with his idea of city people. The dynamism of his images, expressed through rapid gestures and fleeting scenes, offer a glimpse of desire and inner passion. Wu Jiaru, in an exercise to “unlearn”, uses automatic painting in an almost declarative form of emotional liberation.
Her works explore the role of memory in subjective sensations through practicing repetitive gestures and movements, as she tries to allow her body and mind to enter a state of automatism. IV Chan moves away from painting and instead creates tactile and playful sculptures to exemplify topics related to the female body. Contrasting soft fabrics and stuffings with rigid stainless steel, she deconstructs violence in a ritualistic manner. Wong Ka Ying also employs a wide range of media, including but not limited to polaroids, collage, silk screen printing, text, and painting. Using materials many would associate with “intimacy”, she seeks to challenge conventional portrayal of romantic relationships and recontextualise ideas of love.
Fluid Maze: Group Exhibition opens on February 6th until March 13th, 2024 at WOAW Gallery
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