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Chen Yingjie, Blazing 06, 2021


24 February 2022 - 27 March 2022



Ora-Ora is pleased to announce a thrilling two-part exhibition in its new Tai Kwun gallery, curated by Sovereign Art prize finalist Gary Mok Wai Hong and entitled Thesis/Antithesis.

The exhibition showcases China’s most raw and exciting artistic talent, presenting new frontiers of artistic creation at their most vibrant and relevant. Formed of two parts which will run consecutively, the first part will present new work by two leading and widely admired Chinese artists, Chen Yingjie and Huang Yulong. Infusing the gallery space with the fizzing energy of a street scene, the vitality and potency of today’s urban counterculture will be given free rein. Both artists explore the raw colours of the streets, harnessing motifs and imagery from youth culture. The second part of the exhibition presents a group of artists from academia, together with the influences which have preceded them. In so doing, Ora-Ora asks whether artists must seek their learnings from patient education and knowledge of the past, or whether each generation must discover its muse afresh, drawing immediate inspiration from the contemporary world. This question poses a challenge to the gallery’s own mission statement of being “academically rigorous and philosophically minded.”

Thesis/Antithesis is Ora-Ora’s first major show of 2022. Part 1 will run from February 24 to March 27, with Part 2’s details to be announced at a later date.

In Thesis/Antithesis: Part 1, the gallery will host a unique collaboration between two of China’s most dynamic street artists, Chen Yingjie and Huang Yulong. Chen Yingjie’s celebrated “Breaking Loong” series and “Stay Hungry” series are inspired by the Chinese symbolism of the dragon and the lion dance. His tools are urgent and contemporary, spray cans, gold foil and acrylic, but keep faith with the qi and energy of traditional ink painting.

Huang Yulong, a graduate of the renowned Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute in China, melds past and present in an inverse relationship to that of Chen. Huang predominantly presents sculptures of contemporary, tribalist society at its urban core, from hoodies to weaponry, and does so with traditional tools of ceramics, bronze and steel. The artists have in common a willingness to build a bridge between eastern and western culture, from past to present, driven by a passion for the irreverence, exuberance and authenticity of the contemporary urban experience. Ora-Ora’s commitment to trailblazing and innovative means of expression places these two artists at the vanguard of the gallery’s exciting 2022 programme of events.

Thesis/Antithesis: Part 2’s artists (details to follow later) represent a subtle, linear progression from past masters. Their depiction of contemporary life is rooted in admiration for the achievements of the previous generation, and those pioneers that preceded them. In the words of Sir Isaac Newton, if they have been able to see further, it is by “standing on the shoulders of giants.” Each of these excels in their individual expression of classical form and language, and the dual exposure of student and master allows visitors to draw a red line from inspiration to the inspired.

The exhibition will open at Ora-Ora’s new premises in Hong Kong arts and heritage hub, Tai Kwun. This landmark redevelopment in the centre of Hong Kong dates from the 19th century and has been at the heart of Hong Kong civic life since its inception. The gallery demonstrates the versatility of its new space by means of a transformation of interior into exterior, transplanting the raw power of urban streets into this historic setting. In so doing, the curation embodies the clash/conversation of old and new which is at the heart of life in Hong Kong in general, and of Tai Kwun in particular. By showcasing two artists who bring the streets into the gallery construct, Thesis/Antithesis underscores the remit of Ora-Ora to promote dialogue and to drive the academic conversation into new and undiscovered paths.

Is the human experience one of gentle forward progress in careful appreciation of yesterday, or one of fresh departures and disruptive innovations? This exhibition ponders two Chinese idioms, 长江后浪推前浪 and 姜是老的辣. Firstly, whether the waves of the Yangtze beat onwards anew, leaving the past behind, or alternatively, whether our elders may have understood more than we. The title of the exhibition alludes to a thesis as an academic text, where students cite past research and publications in patient pursuit of an academic qualification. Antithesis is its opposite: in this case, a bold breakout into dangerous new terrain. Thesis and antithesis are the two strands of dialectical reasoning, as pursued by Aristotle and Hegel. This approach places two different points of view alongside each other for argument and counter-argument, with a view to making synthesisand progress.

Visitors will be invited to compare two paths of contemporary interpretation, and to navigate their own lives in the spirit of either of these two forces.

By Appointment Only
Kindly note that visitors will be required to pre-schedule their viewing with the gallery prior to their visit.
Email: rsvp@ora-ora.com


24 February 2022
27 March 2022
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