All posts tagged: Christie Lee

Performing Society: The Violence of Gender

By Christie Lee / Half-used paint. Paint-streaked trainers. Crinkly plastic drop cloth. Three panels in shades of pink and orangey-red. A scene of unfinished business. But there is also a palpable sense of energy to it. On the wall opposite, an oil painting depicts a row of female nudes ascending the stairs, their bodies half-translucent, their flesh cutting into each other, giving a sense that whoever was there a moment ago had hurried off, leaving behind a trace of their presence. The two pieces could have been by the same artist, but they’re not. While the trainers and panels – meant to evoke “the carnal colour of the flesh”, according to the exhibition catalogue – are part of Pamela Rosenkranz’s Sexual Power (Three Viagra Paintings), the nudes belong to Jana Euler’s Nude Climbing Up the Stairs (2014). It is a liberating but also curious opening for Performing Society: The Violence of Gender, a show that – as one discovers in the proceeding exhibits – puts the systemic violence done to our bodies on glaring display. The exhibition is …

Oscar Chan Yik Long

By Christie Lee Hong Kong artist Oscar Chan Yik Long talks demons, horror films and his big move to the City of Lights  Chatting with Oscar Chan Yik Long at a coffee shop on D’Aguilar Street, Central, it’s hard to imagine that the sunny artist, decked out in one of his trademark vibrantly patterned shirts, lives his life haunted by demons.  Born in Hong Kong in 1988, Chan studied at Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Visual Arts but it was an “abstract” fear of demons, planted in the artist’s mind when he was still a young boy, that weighs most heavily on his paintings. As much as he fears and is repelled by fear, he is also drawn to it. In his art, screaming skeletons, amorphous beasts and ghoulish, tear- or blood-shedding creatures fill walls and life-sized canvases. “I need to give fear a form,” he says.  Chaotic and unabashedly confessional, they’re the portraits of a tangled mind that vacillates between fearing and repelling these creatures, and being drawn towards them. We sat down with Chan …

Fictioning as Method: Constructing Mythologies and The Other Story

By Christie Lee As Simon O’Sullivan says in Myth-Science and the Fictioning of Reality, the power and function of contemporary art have always been in summoning forth the thing that has “yet-to-come”. In an era of post-truth and alternative facts, when it appears increasingly difficult to sift through deluge of materials on social media and arrive at the truth, and when reality has become stranger than fiction, where does that leave contemporary art? Two recent Hong Kong shows, Constructing Mythologies at Edouard Malingue Gallery and The Other Story at Karin Weber Gallery, might provide some clues. At first glance, the two shows seem to take different approaches – curated by Caroline Ha Thuc, Constructing Mythologies tells of the myths, be it from folklore or constructed by official authorities, that penetrate Southeast Asia, while Ying Kwok’s The Other Story asks that we ignore the fictitious aspect of art for a moment to focus on the process of art-making. But both shows bring to the fore the importance of fictioning, the idea of venturing beyond oneself into the unknown. Upon entering Constructing Mythologies, viewers …

Various artists

Misty Clouds, Scattered Colours Edouard Malingue Gallery Liverpool Community Cinema Sep 28 – 30 Christie Lee While better known as the birthplace of The Beatles and for rowdy weekend party nights, Liverpool is also home to the UK’s oldest Chinese diaspora, the majority of whose ancestors arrived in the late 19th century, after Alfred Holt and Company established its first direct steamship link to China. They suffered from decades of racism, segregation and, in the worst case scenario, repatriation. So it’s apt that Edouard Malingue Gallery chose to stage Misty Clouds, Scattered Colours, a three-day moving-image programme intended to dismantle notions of the other, in the heart of the city. Taking its title from Chinese literary classic Journey to the West, a Ming dynasty tale of a group of pilgrims who overcome many challenges and hardships to attain enlightenment, its 15 works were screened over three nights, focusing on the themes of self, space and nation respectively. While diverse in subject matter and style, they came together to provide a heady investigation into themes of history, power and identity. …