SOLO

exhibition

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Kwong

Kwok Wai

CHINA

Yellow and Black Photography Quote (1).p

“I believe abstract art is a vehicle going deep into people’s fluid souls as it provides possibilities and uncertainty.”

As an artist, Kwong is intrigued by the motif of human existence. He ponders over it in the context of people’s relationship with time and place, with memories and the wider social environments. People’s past events “scaffold” their values, beliefs and the logic of thinking. As Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein described, “Form of Life” is contextual if not situational, by which Kwong is genuinely fascinated.

Using fragments of maps of my hometown Hong Kong, this painting reflects the reminiscence of the local history and anticipation of the future from a first-person narrative. For reference, Kwong employed both old and new maps of the Kowloon Peninsula, where 40% of the population resides. With vigorous colors and weltering brushstrokes, he intend to explore the nature of the existence of a community.

Does it not change the fact of who we are, and what we believe? Our sentiments and perceptions of what has happened around us are very vivid and undeniable!” Kwong keeps asking himself such questions. So, are we “solid” or “fluid”?” With these questions in mind, he transforms them into evocative imagery of contemplation and self-exploration.

The Map of A Myth I

Oil

$2600

Maps provide perspective, those necessary details needed for an overview. They establish where you are within a larger context. Kwong employed road maps for reference as a depiction of the city’s current status. Road map of Central, the core financial and government area; and Shumshuipo, an old district with a low-income population.

This ambivalent state would be best to present in abstractions. He intends to depict this emotional and philosophical condition - a condition of asking questions, instead of providing answers. He wants to picture fluidity, not concealability. Turning concrete into ambiguity, reality into abstract, this artistic approach indicates both refusal and whimsy.

“I think memories constitute a crucial part of our identity.”

In 2018, he quitted his job from journalism and became a full-time painter. As a journalist, Kwong had always believed that reporters were the “independent voices”, that they had to be impartial and objective in reporting. He also reminded himself to be detached from the dominating political powers in order to avoid bias. However, after becoming an artist, there was no reason for him to be in the opposing position anymore, he realized people are all surrounded by politics. It is part of our lives. This transformation of ideas enlightened his paintings, which were presented in his two solo exhibitions in 2019 and 2020. Real life politics are portrayed as fables and presented in visual forms.

"Symbols roam among reality, concepts and the unknown. ‘Road maps’, ‘vines’, ‘numbers’; what do you think of them? Do they tell you a story?”

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In his series “The Map of a Myth”, the ideas of ‘road’, ‘map’, ‘city’, ‘city inhabitants’ and what these concepts meant kicked off the investigation. Inhabitants of a city share their vision of living. As a result, city development symbolizes what the community has done for survival, and this process is documented in maps.