Obscuring the boundary between art and literature, Little Fables take on different forms of storytelling through art. Whitestone Gallery Hong Kong’s recent group exhibition Little Fables have the power to captivate the child in you.

Fables is a genre of literature that are in the form of succinct fictional proses, poems or stories that are instilled with cultural values, typically featuring anthropomorphic animals and nature to deliver a moral message.

Six artists interweave their cultural values and perception of their world into art, creating fables through various forms of artmaking. These artworks take on a child-like innocence, sometimes with a touch of darkness from adulthood. It has the power to transport you to a familiar yet strange world, just as how the mere memory of childhood shows brings back nostalgic feelings and emotions of our younger self.

Karen Shiozawa’s “A Place Where A Light Returns” (2020) vividly illustrates dreamy landscapes with fantastical elements that alludes to lost memories. The dreamy colours create an illusion of a fairytale-like world where skyscrapers are replaced with flowers and the sea and sky are made of dazzling stars and lights that engulf the artwork whole. These unrealistic depictions of our world evoke a sense of return to childhood, back to a time where our imagination was as vivid and as vibrant as the light; where our imagination is unrestricted and untainted by the world’s ugly truths. The small child in the artwork stands still, looking back at us enchanted. She is ephemeral and evanescent, as if about to disappear. She is the child that never grew up with us into adulthood; the child who holds onto our scars and reminds us of the joy and happiness in life that escaped us as we struggled to live past every day. “A Place Where A Light Returns” elicit nostalgic feelings and awaken childhood memories that we have long forgotten, waiting to be remembered and re-lived once more.  

Taking a very different approach, Sebastian Chaumeton’s exhibition features a sculpture and wall-mounted paintings of the Disney character, Pinocchio, a puppet whose nose extends when he lies. Driftwood (2020) portray a drowning Pinocchio in a transparent Photoshop layer, while Sorrowing Young Boy (2020) depicts Pinocchio weeping on pixelated toilet. A wooden sculpture of Pinocchio at the centre of the playroom is placed in front of the monitor where he is consumed by the internet. Another artwork illustrates Pinocchio hiding away from the sun, social noises “pssst” with “liar ♡” carved onto its arm. The intentional inclusion of digital elements from the internet directly references the social media and the meme culture, comparing teenagers to puppets who are devoured by the negative energy of the internet. The significance of Pinocchio thus comments on the fake lies that trickle through every corner of the internet. 

Little Fables transports us to an ethereal and imaginary world with enchanting artworks each unique to every artist, conveying a story of their own.

Little Fables

2020.3.18 – 5.16
Tuesday to Saturday 11:00 – 19:00; Sunday by appointment only 
Whitestone Gallery, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central

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