Hong Kong—Pearl Lam Galleries is proud to present two solo exhibitions of works by Kour Pour (b.
1987, England) and Su Dongping (b.1958, China) in Hong Kong.
Kour Pour is known for his elaborate carpet paintings that depict familiar symbols of different cultures
and universal concepts of beauty. Inspired by an early education in textiles from his Iranian-born
father, who owned a carpet shop in the UK, he translates intricate patterns from old carpets onto
Pour’s early series of carpet paintings, which take months to prepare, are based on designs the artist
has researched from past exhibitions and auction catalogues. Pour is specifically interested in carpets
and their role in the world as an object of craft—people weaving in a community, the history, the
patterns, the figures, as well as their status as collectable commodities. Each painting is highly labourintensive
and incorporates a range of techniques, including scrupulous hand painting, silkscreen
printing, and applying paint layers with a broomstick, sanding down, and repainting. His carpet
paintings use the structure and format of Persian miniature paintings, while all the characters and
images are pulled from various sources and organized into original compositions. Narratives are
created by bringing together images from different cultures and time periods and include themes of
migration, race, love, spirituality, war, etc. Pour states his intent:
The carpet designs were influenced by the experiences of trade and exchange with
the Europeans, Indians, and Chinese. I was interested in the carpet format as a kind
of historical record. I started designing my own compositions with Photoshop, using
imagery that I could find on the Internet, and turned the files into silk screens that
are used to print the under-painting. I see my own designs as records of the way we
collect and exchange information today.
While geometric abstraction endured as a visual and theoretical counterpoint to gestural movements
like Abstract Expressionism throughout the 20th century, Pour’s most recent series of paintings uses
geometric abstraction to investigate issues of appropriation and originality. The image is silkscreened
onto a background and then sections of the image are painted over with geometrical shapes. The end
result are paintings that lay somewhere in between a Persian miniature painting and an American or
European minimal geometric painting, expressing different cultures and time periods.
About Kour Pour
Kour Pour (b. Exeter, England, 1987) graduated with a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design, Los
Angeles, USA in 2010. Pour’s practice explores the various aspects of identity formation, the social
and cultural constructions of the West and the East and the way in which these constructions have
defined our thinking. He currently lives in Los Angeles, USA.
Recent notable solo exhibitions include Onnagata (2016), Feuer/Mesler, New York, USA; Samsara
(2015), Depart Foundation, Los Angeles, USA; and Ozymandias (2014), Ellis King, Dublin, Ireland. The
artist’s group shows include Horror Vacui, or The Annihilation of Space (2017), Misako & Rosen, Tokyo,
Japan; Labyrinth(s) (2016), Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, China; Painting Show—Part One (2015),
Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich, Germany; From Above (2015), Di Donna, New York, USA; and The
Go Between (2014), Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy.
Su Dongping was born in Shenyang, China. He taught painting and art history for over 20 years after
graduating from Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts. Su’s works were informed by Taoist philosopher Laozi
during his formative years in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. His calligrapher father had a
great impact on Su’s artistic practice; Su’s father taught him the concept of “bu miao”, meaning not
only to depict the shape of characters, but to express the spirit and thoughts on paper spontaneously
and decisively. By applying layers with thick paint day after day, Su’s paintings register his life
experiences and are infused with a strong sense of recluse. Not wanting to conform to conventional
practices, the artist withdrew from traditional education, family, and his social environment,
awakening an inner impulse. The artist’s dynamic brushwork, he conveys a longing for freedom. The
constant negotiation with uncertainty is what makes abstract painting relevant. Su states:
I must also destroy the thing when my artwork starts to look overly canonical. I warn
myself that sometimes becoming a classic means perishing. Then, the work transforms
and becomes a new stereotype, so that I must destroy it at once and reconstruct it once
again. Thus, my artworks go through many processes of construction and many
accidents are incorporated into each round of creation. But you must destroy and
rebuild: many things can be discovered throughout these repeated reiterations. On the
one hand, an artist must have a memory which is a painting memory. Once it is rooted in
your mind, your faculty of judgment improves.
By destroying and reconstructing his paintings, Su discovers his own unique painting technique
instead of following traditional painting methods. Through the iterative process of applying layers by
laying on oil, plaster, wire nails, and other media, Su breaks through boundaries and rebuilds the
discipline of painting to create three-dimensional, sculpture-like paintings. The use of black and dark
tone is inspired by the polluted surroundings where he grew up. Due to the rapid urban development
and industrialization in China over the last twenty years, old buildings have been replaced by modern
skyscrapers, leaving construction residue such as steel bars and concrete around the neighbourhood.
Seeing this outside his studio has influenced Su’s choice of media and has inspired him to move
forward from the spatial limitations of two-dimensional creations.
About Su Dongping
Su Dong Ping was born in 1958 in Shenyang, Liaoning province. He taught painting and art history for
over 20 years after graduating from the department of oil painting at Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts. His
revolt against traditional education models has led to his deviation as an abstract artist.
Important solo exhibitions include Landscapes of the Heart—The Abstract Art of Su Dongping (2015),
Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai, China and Instant Measure: Paintings by Su Dongping (2013), Inside-
Out Art Museum, Beijing, China. Important group exhibitions include Quotidian (2017), Pearl Lam
Galleries, Shanghai, China; Chinese Oil Painting Exhibition (1993), National Art Museum of China,
Beijing, China; and Contemporary Paintings from Su Dongping and Jalaiyyih Quinn (1992), Consulate
General of the United States, Shenyang, China.