Gabarron: The Humanist
Ora-Ora will present a major new solo show by world-famous Spanish artist Cristobal Gabarron. The multi-disciplinary artist, an international force since the 1960s, has created five brand new series of works specifically for a Hong Kong audience.
Spanning Christmas and into the New Year, this five-week event will take place in Ora-Ora’s Tai Kwun gallery in Hong Kong from December 14, 2023 to January 28, 2024. In recognition of the artist’s multi-decade commitment advocating for humanism, the exhibition is titled: “Gabarron: The Humanist.”
Gabarron has been a consistent and major artistic voice in favour of tolerance, understanding and supporting societal progress, and has worked extensively with international organizations like the UN or the EU to promote a safer, more joyous world. The timing of his exhibition in Hong Kong coincides with a period of uncertainty and suffering in Europe and the Middle East, which makes the artist’s message, and his investigation of the human spirit poignant and timely.
Speaking of Gabarron’s solo show, Ora-Ora CEO and co-founder Henrietta Tsui-Leung said: “Cristobal Gabarron is known as the maestro for good reason. This is an artist with a multi-decade commitment to humanity, and a belief in the goodness of human beings. His paintings radiate vibrancy and joy, and teach us about ourselves.”
Cristobal Gabarron said the following: "At 78 years old, this exhibition in Hong Kong is more than just that; it is a journey through time, a dialogue between my life and the audience. In each canvas, I find freedom of expression amidst the wonder of creation. I am thrilled that my art finds a home in the vibrant heart of Hong Kong. I hope that each stroke speaks to those who behold it, taking them on a journey where passion for art is eternal."
Noting the significance of the Hong Kong location, the artist expanded: “Hong Kong is a platform for cultural exchange and engagement with a diverse audience across Asia. I hope this exhibition and my art practice complements and builds on Hong Kong’s unique, cosmopolitan tradition of dynamism and diversity.”
The five series total 21 works and include four series of paintings in oil and pigment (titled “Eloquence of Silence,” “Essential,” “The Sacrifice of Metaphor” and “Old Skins”), and one series of colourful fiberglass and polychromed resin sculptures (titled “Green Mowing,” between 36 and 50cm in height).
The artist specifically created each artwork with the size limitations of Hong Kong properties in mind, reducing the monumental scale of many of his previous works to a more intimate, personal scale. The artist described this as allowing him “focus on the essential significance, the balance of the infinite angles and curves.”
Each series chronicles a different aspect of the human condition. The series “Old Skins” is an homage to human experience and a meditation on the transience of existence. For Cristobal Gabarron, each experience marks our skin. The moments we live are written on it: stories of love and hate, of light and shadow, of encounters and disagreements. The journey of life is written on skins as much as it is on pages.
The artist will be travelling to Hong Kong to be present during the exhibition period, and will be presenting a ticketed event titled “Ambit” on December 17, 2023 at the Asia Society Hong Kong. “Ambit” is centered on performance and action painting, allowing attendees the chance to watch the artist in action. Details of further events will follow.