Ota Fine Arts Singapore is delighted to present “Landscapes”, a group exhibition featuring 5 artists from East Asia: Chen Wei (China), Masanori Handa (Japan), Chris Huen (Hong Kong), Tomoko Kashiki (Japan) and Hiraki Sawa (Japan). Landscape has been an important motif in art creation, regardless of media or time, and has been explored by many artists. Landscape is no longer merely something that exists out there, but rather it has come to be about the way one looks at things, how one internalizes it and subsequently converts it into memory. The artworks by these 5 artists reveal how this conceptualization works.
The paintings of Chris Huen (b.1991) and Masanori Handa (b. 1979) revel the natural landscape in its original beauty. Masanori Handa’s world is one of playful, impressionistic, yet nonetheless contemplative experimentation. Presented in this exhibition are paintings from his Mount Athos series (2013). These paintings are his imaginative rendition of the well-known mountain located in Greece, where he painted 3 different variations of the same mountain. Having always been inspired by the environment, the starting points of Handa’s art practice often takes root from natural landscapes. Handa’s poetic expressions and use of colour in his work forms arresting depictions of imagined sceneries. On the other hand, Chris Huen tries to reveal how the memory functions through an array of paintings. At first glance, his paintings seem like simple sketches – human figures, dogs, background sceneries etc. However, these daily sightings are not a direct reflection of what the artist saw. He observes things, leaves the encounter for a while, and only draws the scene recalling the memory after a period of time. Through this process, Huen can clearly see what he remembered and what did not remain in his memory, and this process is akin to a filtering of memory. In this show, he will exhibit his 2 latest paintings, Survivor (2016) and Doodood, Haze, MuiMui and Balltsz (2016).
Challenging the boundaries of domestic/public landscapes and also reality/imaginative realms are the works of Tomoko Kashiki (b. 1982) and Hiraki Sawa (b. 1977). In the painting Yellow Hill (2015) by Tomoko Kashiki, one observes two figures in an artist studio. There is a painting stretcher and painting sketches are scattered all over the floor, seeming as though the painting is to be made, yet it is not known what exactly is happening or what would come next. At first glance the scene looks like an indoor studio, but as the yellow base color transcends the invisible walls, the space also appears to be outside scenery. Her works throw a philosophical question to every viewer: How can one recognize time and space in reality, and how is the recognition related to our memory and imagination? Taking on an entirely different medium, Hiraki Sawa is well-known for his video works that transcend ambiguous boundaries of domestic/public space. One would notice that the scenes appearing on screen are not straightforward documentations; rather, they are elegantly edited collages of fragmented moving images. While being intrigued by the world, Sawa re-creates landscapes using small objects, creating mystery in perspective. This exhibition will show his latest video work Flying (2016) which reveals Sawa’s surrealistic vision.
Chen Wei (b.1980) captures mysterious landscapes of unknown land and presents it in his photography works. Both his works Night Paris (2015) and Future and Modern (2014) show night sceneries in which vivid neon signs captures one’s attention. The optimistic and romanticized words on the neon signs such as “Future” and “Paris” represent the high hopes that Chinese people hold in their minds – they often name their shops with affluent imagination. At the same time, it also reflects the gap between reality and hope, which can be represented by the great contrast between darkness of the night and the excessively bright neon colours. Upon closer inspection, one will also notice that the shop and apartment in the works remain empty. Through these works, Chen expresses futuristic yet pessimistic landscapes, reflecting the anxiety of people in China.
Ota Fine Arts Singapore invites you to experience the varied created landscapes by the artists, and we hope that this exhibition will bring about an opportunity to ponder upon the act of looking.