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Joey LEUNG, Frank TANG, and ZHOU Jin: In-Between Spaces

6 March - 12 April



SC Gallery is delighted to present “In-between Spaces”, a group exhibition featuring a total of 12 works by Joey LEUNG, Frank TANG, and ZHOU Jin. The three artists are from the Department of Fine Arts, Chinese University of Hong Kong, where Leung and Tang were students of Zhou. Through sharing the common ground of using Chinese ink in their practice, they have come together in this exhibition to explore the imaginary realms that extend beyond our immediate physical surroundings, thus reconstructing our understanding of reality. The artists travel in between these imagined spaces, blurring the boundaries between imagination and reality, and delve into complex emotions, societal issues, or personal experiences in metaphorical ways.

Leung is fond of blending the techniques of the gongbi fine-line painting style with bright and subtle colors. She is skilled in painting figures, still life and a variety of subjects, often inspired by her everyday life. Yet, the world she has created on paper is one presented with boundless imagination. In this group of three new pieces, dolls, books, and figures are interacting and entangling with one another, forming a narrative taking place on top of a desk. The fictional characters are almost as if they are a part of our everyday life, yet they are performing acts that cannot be done in reality. Leung looks over to these characters coming alive on this imaginary plane, and indulges in the fantasy of having her wishes come true. The whimsical world she has created then invites the viewers to take a glimpse into her mind, and conjecture what these characters are doing, their emotions, thus form their own narratives.

Tang is known for his contemporary approach to Chinese ink painting, and his works often examine the intricate relationship between human and history, as well as urban and natural landscapes. In Tang’s brand-new series, he delves into his personal interest in trees, and in particular, epiphytes. An epiphyte is a plant or plant-like organism that grows on the surface of another plant and derives its moisture and nutrients from its surroundings, including air, rain and water. According to Darwinian evolutionary theory, “Natural selection”, or “The survival of the fittest”, all types of plants try their best to survive in their own way. The “Epiphytes” series, inspired by this sentiment, is based on the plants that Tang had seen from his recent travels. The environment in which plants grow and morph into various shapes led the artist to raise questions such as, “What are these plants currently going through?”, “Why are plants growing the way that they are?”, or “What are their natural habitats?” The answers to these questions lie within the canvases and he opens up the room for the viewers’ interpretation. Our reflection and contemplation are then turned into nutrients, providing and nourishing our minds for imagination.

Zhou excels in figure painting, and is known for depicting people in the modern city using swift and spontaneous brush work. In his work Swim, the painting of abstract figures submerged in water not only reflects his contemplation on personal experience and existence, but also captures the sophisticated and dynamic relationship between figures and their surroundings within that space. In this unspecified body of water, it could be a pool, a lake, or the ocean, some may find themselves sinking, and some may find themselves floating. The ones who are floating could be worried about sinking, or immersed in the quietness while looking at the infinite sky above. These distorted and blurred forms within the water are then used to represent the dynamics of people in a modern city, with some feeling isolated, slowly fading away into nothingness, while some enjoying the vast freedom and a sense of solitude, embracing the warmth of water. The water, without any specification on what or where it is, then becomes Zhou’s imaginary space that allows its subjects to roam, each with their unique experience and feeling.

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