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Dong Xiaochi: Petrichor / Naomi Workman: Anatomy of a Ghost Horse

24 February - 17 March



THE SHOPHOUSE is pleased to present duo solo exhibitions, Petrichor by Chinese artist Dong Xiaochi (b.1993) and Anatomy of a Ghost Horse by British artist Naomi Workman (b.1990).Drawing inspiration from artificial landscapes of different scales, including traditional Chinese gardens, botanical gardens, and miniature ecosystems. Dong Xiaochi explores diverse concepts related to simulating, imitating, and compressing nature. His creative endeavours primarily encompass painting and mixed-media pieces. By creating images saturated with hints of light, humidity and atmosphere, Dong aims to give forms to contemporary images of nature.The influence of Chinese painting on Dong Xiaochi’s artwork is prevalent in his technique as well as the subject. In Petrichor, cloud motifs, bamboos and leaves, subjects with strong connotations of myths and symbols from Chinese culture are translated into nebulous and vague imagery. Like nature, Dong’s paintings present in constant flux and cease to settle in a definite form. The delicate ink brushstroke disperses through the surface, while upholding blank space to depict the stillness in the surrounding.In front of the viewers, are trees and mountains whose forms blend with abstract ones in such a way that namable phenomena merge into abstract ones, thus opening up to the imagination.Naomi Workman’s work consists of figurative and narrative paintings and drawings in oil, featuring intertwined figures in various scenes. The protagonists are depicted in a state of suspended captivity, with their gaze close and quiet in observation. The canvas becomes crowded with multi-figure compositions, incorporating dramatic and rhythmic distortions. That are both performative and theatrical in their extreme poise. Implied narratives play out across canvas and paper as a device for evolution. Where bodies entwine, warp and elongate. The figures are manifold in tableau-like arrangements. At the extreme, these rhythmical distortions shift towards metamorphosis.The presence of horses and dogs is a recurring theme, representing the companionship and kinship between humans and animals. A mirror absorbs the attention of the subjects, symbolising a search for answers within ourselves through reflection. The constant companionship of horses, dogs, cats and birds serves as an anchor in domesticity. Mothers, sisters, seekers and lovers are enmeshed together in repetitive searching attempts to convey interiority. By compromising the divide between the ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’; by juxtaposing real body tasks with ‘imagined’ thought desires.Through Anatomy of a Ghost Horse, Workman delves into the language of psychology, specifically the concepts of entanglement and distortion, to explore the duality between the physical bodies and interior worlds of her subjects. The titular Ghost Horse’s interior anatomy represents an unattainable search for clarity, as the world they inhabit refuses to conform to their attempts at decoding it.

By appointment at info@theshophouse.hk


24 February
17 March
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