Identity is a hot topic in contemporary society, but when we resort to legal documents, race, value, region or purely personal identity, there will be varying degrees of restriction. The condition that determines our identity is that we face a common history, destiny, and future.
灣仔集成中心 Our Gallery 由即日至 8 月 31 日舉辦《身份的思辨》水墨畫展,邀請藝術家以水墨藝術去探討「身份」的議題,展覽免費入場。借水墨畫去表達身份認同或許是新的嘗試: 在不失水墨藝術傳統精神的同時,試圖詮釋這個複雜的概念。
Our Gallery at C C WU Building, Wan Chai is staging an exhibition called “Sense of Identity” from now to 31 August, inviting two artists to explore the topic of “identity” through ink art. It may be a new attempt to express identity through ink art: it tries to interpret this complex concept while not losing the traditional spirit of ink art.
One of the participating artists in this exhibition, Simon Yung, took landscape as the starting point and created eight works that traverse the past and the present. Among them, “Moon”, “Roots”, “Sentiment”, and “Aesthetic” represent some of the intrinsic factors, such as bloodline, ethnic group etc. In contrast “Source”, “Glamour”, “Spirit”, and “Identity” represent
acquired factors that affect identities, such as enlightenment, perspectives, and social environment. For artists, ink art is not only the carrier of traditional Chinese culture but also a combination of Western artistic elements (such as perspective, colour, light and shadow, etc.). This group of artworks is trying to reflect the change of Hong Kong people’s identity from the past to the present, under the conflict between Eastern and Western cultures.
“Yet mountains are still green, the sun goes up and down”
The second group of artwork “Dyeing” inspired by a poem of Yang Zhen (1488 – 1559), it depicts a scene of Hong Kong from the past to the present during a sunset. It reflects the poem of Yang Zhen that although the world has been changing, and people seem to be locked into a certain sense of shackles, the nature of the landscape has not changed. The identity is
shaping from time to time, but some values in our hearts will remain unchanged.
Why not live in the moment
Another participating artist, Kenny Mak, used the image of a virus as a metaphor to suggest that people should perhaps let go of their attachment to identity. The artist created a group of works called “Origination”, composed of three paintings “East”, “Unknown”, and “West”. They were painted into three different techniques: “East” is painted in traditional Chinese ink painting techniques; “Unknown” is created with a combination of Chinese and Western art techniques, and “West” is only painted in Western techniques.
The artist believes that compared to everything in the universe, human beings are fundamentally insignificant, and many things may come from a result of “karmic force”. This belief reflects on the artwork of “Origination”, it is a result of different art techniques. Since the epidemic may be the result of karmic force, why do we need (except for scientific reasons)
to persistently search for the cause? Just like identity, it may not be that important to understand who you are.
Another group of works “Segregation”, anthropomorphises ants to humans. Ants are social animals like humans. However, under certain circumstances, ants will also be excluded by their groups. It is similar to the people who are divided/isolated in different groups/conditions under the world epidemic. The artist wants to express that identity may be reshaped in different situations, and therefore, we don’t have to be obsessed with self-identity. On the contrary, it is more practical to live in the present.
Two artists made two different interpretations of identity. The sense of identity in the coming future may begin with sociotropic threat. In the post-pandemic period, the world might appear growing distrustful of cultural outsiders and more polarised by ethnicity, age and class. A feeling of besiegement may put traditional identity under tremendous pressure, and a new kind of identity may be developed – one that is more strongly felt as well as narrower and more combative.
《身份的思辨》”Sense of Identity”
Monday to Friday, 11:00 – 18:00, Saturday 13:00 – 17:00
UG 10 Our Gallery, 灣仔軒尼詩道 302-8 號集成中心
Source: Our Gallery