Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel
Ora-Ora is pleased to announce the gallery’s participation in Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel. For this unique platform which brings together the city’s cultural community, Ora-Ora will showcase new works by Chinese contemporary ink artist Xiao Xu in an exhibition titled Hidden. These works present a continuation from the artist‘s solo show Streams of Eventide, which was held at Ora-Ora in 2018, which depicts the diversity of human nature and society through landscape ink paintings of illusion and reality.
Xiao's repertoire has been described as a "revival of tradition" by artist and scholar Xu Lei as he merges modernity with traditional Chinese techniques to produce contemporary traditional landscapes. These paintings, utilising the simplicity of ink and water, and shades of grey and black reflect the subtlety of Vermeer and David Friedrich, that in turn echo the ancient Chinese practice. This process, frequently influenced by his appreciation for poetry and literature, Xiao has stated as a “conscious decision to explore the contradictions we can see regarding human social interactions in today's society: particularly social hierarchy and the conflicts between each other”.
The viewer, when looking at one of his paintings, is confronted with and immersed in both macroscopic and microscopic landscapes simultaneously. Xiao's paintings are not a direct record of visual experience, but the experience of observing different aspects of things from different angles, distances, and times. It is to reconstruct these experiences into a whole new world. To Xiao, the meaning of reconstruction is not only the form of the image or its real existence, but also the spirituality brought by experienced events, which is thus integrated into a grand visual rendered by his dark palette, highlighting contemporary life. In Instant, the world has fallen into disorder; the uneven landscape portrays a hypnotic turmoil of sorts, warped geometrical mazes in which clusters of clouds, ranges of mountains, and sections of houses swirl colliding and creating a distorted vibration. He continues the technique of traditional landscape painting as a frame around current situations.
Midsummer Bloom is inspired by the famous poem ‘Four Quartets’ written by T.S Eliot and draws parallels between a lotus bloom and a symphony, using this metaphor to express a range of four emotions including happiness, sadness, excitement and anger. In the painting, a pond is covered with leaves, lotus flowers and duckweed, the delicate lines highlight Xiao's meticulous observation to detail and his focus on the beauty of the flower, a prominent symbol in ancient Chinese paintings. The piece depicts a beauty in chaos, an underlying hope amidst turbulence.
Hidden portrays works of spiritualism and symbolism, presenting a vision of reality in an elegant and almost effortless yet haunting landscapes, an apt portrayal of the year 2020.
Ora-Ora will also showcase works by Finnish artist Juri Markkula who brings together the industrial and technological. His reliefs of painted surfaces present multiple angles of natural beauty, a hybrid of the digital and physical world.
These works from Markkula’s RGB series were first exhibited at the gallery in 2018. He focuses on aspects of nature that are almost overlooked, or desensitized, in our everyday lives: fallen leaves, broken branches, twigs, stems and pieces of bark have been given importance, a focus on their delicateness, outline and shape. With these textures and forms, colour adds emotion and association to each piece. Selected specifically, the three vibrant artificial pigments of Red, Green and Blue create a segmented illusion of natural, yet abstracted beauty.
Honk Kong Spotlight by Art Basel will take place from November 27- 30, 2020 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Opening Hours & Venue
Thursday, November 26, 2020, 2pm – 8pm (Private Preview)
Friday, November 27, 2020, 11am – 7pm
Saturday, November 28, 2020, 11am – 7pm
Sunday, November 29, 2020, 11am – 7pm
Monday, November 30, 2020, 11am – 6pm
Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel
Ora-Ora at Booth S14
Hall 3F & 3G, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong