To mark Puerta Roja’s eighth anniversary, the gallery curates a group exhibition dedicated to cross-cultural conversations and creative collaborations. Reflections presents outstanding painting and sculptural works by twelve artists that create a visible and invisible dialogue between Puerta Roja’s stable of artists and the talent brought together by six partnerships from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Chile, Korea and Belgium.
Opening to the public on 12 September at Puerta Roja’s gallery space in SOHO 189 Art Lane, Reflections is curated to highlight the growing dialogue and interconnectedness across regions, generations as well as diverse artistic genres. The striking relationships in the exhibition bring to light a global collective consciousness no longer defined by distance, nationality or medium.
From the post war masters’ generation, the show presents two representatives of the Op & Kinetic and Dansaekhwa art movements: Franco-Venezuelan Carlos Cruz-Diez alongside Korean Choi Myoung-Young in collaboration with The Page Gallery (Korea) and Soluna Fine Art (Hong Kong) soon to open a new space focusing on Korean artists in Hong Kong. Choi Myoung-Young is one of the most respected artists from the Dansaekhwa movement, his monochrome work exploring spiritual undertones is juxtaposed with the multi-chrome scientific based work of the master of colour Cruz-Diez.
The meditative Japanese paper works by Spanish artist Javier León Pérez resonate with the coiled feather sculptures by the British artist Kate MccGwire, recently awarded the Jack Goldhill Award for sculpture presented by The Royal Academy of Arts (Galerie Huit, Hong Kong). Both artworks speak of an obsession with the geometry of nature. "Cradle", the painstakingly detailed pencil drawings by María García-Ibáñez, explore memory and intimacy through everyday objects as much as the intuitive pen-on-canvas works by the emerging Indonesian artist Wayan Novi (Art Porters, Singapore). Volume, light and three-dimensionality are called into play through the geometric forms of the Argentinean collective Ventoso along with the organically unfolding works by Italian artist Paola Pezzi (ArtLoft, Lee Bauwens Belgium).
Introspection and the emotional charge of self and family portraiture come to light in the yarn-covered sculptures by Héctor Velázquez and the hand-embroidered family photographs by the Chilean artist Juana Gómez (Isabel Croxatto Galeria, Chile). A poetic and alluring juxtaposition is the pairing of the gravity-defying bamboo sculptures by Laurent Martin “Lo” with the brightly-coloured geometric abstractions on canvas by British-Indonesian artist Sinta Tantra’s (ISA Art Advisory, Indonesia). The perfect balance of simplicity of line and use of negative space in both works are amplified by the evident contrast of technique and material.
Over the past eight years, Puerta Roja has continued its mission to expand the appreciation of Latin American and Spanish art across Asia Pacific as well as increase the awareness of the region’s rich contribution to the global art landscape. Through its regional focus and carefully selected artists, the gallery has advocated for untold narratives and universal social perspectives relevant to Asian audiences, with artworks often executed in Asia or created in the spirit of Asian philosophies. Beneath the concentrated programme of exhibitions, talks and community engagement initiatives, lies a deep desire to create cultural bridges and promote universal ideals that go far beyond the national context. Through this underlying philosophy, Puerta Roja displays its commitment towards enriching Hong Kong’s cultural scene and reflecting its hybrid nature. The exhibition is not only a celebration of the gallery’s success but also an accolade to the close professional and personal relationships that have been a determinant factor along the way.
Puerta Roja’s Founder and Director as well as the current Co-President of the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association (HKAGA), Adriana Alvarez-Nichol, comments: “Since establishing Puerta Roja in 2010, I have been lucky to meet outstanding like-minded gallerists and artists whose pioneering efforts and artistic discourse have not only influenced our development but also inspired us. By inviting some of those galleries to co-curate this joint exhibition we all make a statement on the power of collaborations and cross-cultural dialogue. The hidden but strong connections between our different artists will create an eclectic and strong exhibition that challenges traditional categorisations or demarcations for galleries’ exhibitions.
As one of the founders of the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association, I am a firm believer that galleries can benefit each other, their artists and their clients by finding common ground. I believe that the forces of decentralization in the art market, artists’ global aspirations and the growth and increasing sophistication of Asian collectors create challenges, but also new opportunities. By working together, we are all better able to harness them. Through collaboration, rather than competition, we continue to strive to redefine obsolete rigid barriers in the art world.”
Puerta Roja’s anniversary exhibition Reflections will remain on view through to 25 October 2018.