喚起觸摸的記憶| Remembrance through Touch

在現代社會,我們經常著重能看得見的事物。當眼花撩亂的圖像和資訊成爲我們生活的一部分時,我們難免會對事物和情況產生幻覺或誤解。傑若米諾沃提尼 (Jaromír Novotný) 在維伍德畫廊展示的作品此則邀請觀眾感受既寧靜又貌似單色的創作,透過顏色和物料的運用來展示的記憶和回憶的力量。

In the modern days, there’s a strong tendency to rely only on what is seen. In a world full of screens with oversaturated colours and overwhelming information, it is easy for us to rely on our sight, which may result in an illusion or misconception of things and situations. However, Jaromír Novotný’s work in Axel Vervoordt Gallery invites visitors to experience the silent and seemingly monochrome creations, which, through the use of colour and materiality, enable the power of memory and remembrance.

Untitled, 2020, 120 x 100 x 4 cm
Acrylic, polyester organza, paper, carbon paper


Novotný’s works and his creative process gently reminds viewers that human intuition has great potential, perhaps more than may be realised. The word “tactile” was derived from Latin for “that may be touched, tangible”. It refers to the physical act of feeling; the experience of touching – for example, the skin. Novotný’s work bears the traces of the human hand and presents itself as a skin around the frame, or a membrane that blocks certain aspects or sensations of vision while allowing others.


Novotný creates his works using acrylic on polyester organza, stretched on a wooden frame. The paper and canvas inserts and threads on the reverse of the painting lead to a great sensitivity. This notion of bare presence conveys that Novotný uses painting as a medium to solidify his artistic vision. The work’s tactility invites viewers to “feel” rather than “see” them. As a result, Novotný’s creative process allows the exploration of the painting’s perception and inherent purity. The experience with the work reveals the essence of painting.


Because the artist’s hand is visible, so is the process of creation. Novotný presents his painting as a medium; his medium as a subject. Thus, subject and object are merged. As a result, he rejects conceptual and formal interpretations. Rather than American Abstract Expressionists and Minimalists, and artists such as Willem de Kooning and Donald Judd, Novotný creates emptiness by omitting certain aspects from the work, such as adding an excess of paint on canvas or removing the human touch from painting completely. The result of Novotný’s work is an eloquent but enigmatic form of transparency.

Untitled, 2020, 160 x 140 x 5 cm
Acrylic, polyester organza, paper, canvas, wooden stretcher


Although the connections with American twentieth-century art and Novotný’s works are interesting; those with the art that was created in China at the time are perhaps even more so. In the twentieth century, in line with Taoism and the Chan (Zen) school of Buddhism, increasing attention was paid to the philosophical concept of emptiness and the void in a painting. “I do my utmost to attain emptiness; I hold firmly to stillness. The myriad creatures all rise together, and I watch their return,” Lao Tzu wrote centuries ago. Empty space is treated as solid space: “Knowing the white, retaining the black, it is the form of the world.”


Novotný’s approach to empty and solid space leans towards this. About his work, Novotný once said: “Black as the foundation, white as the lightest shade of black”. Synthetic organza came into his oeuvre when he was looking for transparent textiles that could replace the canvas; it transcends the material and makes it a degree whiter. The elements behind it become more diffuse in a certain way; faded by the washed-out contours.

Untitled, 2020, 120 x 100 x 4 cm
Acrylic, polyester organza, paper, carbon paper


The things considered in emptiness in Chinese landscape painting are the same as those associated with phenomena of nature – fog, sky, clouds – elements of limited visibility clear up for those who physically move in it; those who spread their attention and imagination.

Untitled, 2020, 67 x 43.5 x 4 cm
Acrylic, gouache, synthetic organza, canvas, threads,wood, two parts


Novotný points out that the assumptions with which viewers look at a painting, as being determined by memory and the underlying meanings of the (re-)presentation. The perception of the work is based on the notion of reappearance, although the creation of the work itself is also limited to certain constraints.


For Novotný’s works, recurrence can be conducive to creative solutions. With the act of recurrences – with which Novotný experiments a repetition of making units, leaving empty fields, and creating a trace of execution – he can aspire or eventually reach out to boundless limitations. Viewers then may feel his perception towards the paintings and witness his progressions appeared as recurrences. His ongoing quest orbits like a constant circle within the world. The world, in which qi is an enigmatic power.

Just a Narrow Range of Possible Things


Thursday to Saturday 11:00-19:00

Axel Vervoordt Hong Kong

黃竹坑道62號, 科達設計中心21樓 , 入口於業發路(近Ovolo酒店)
21F, Coda Designer Centre, 62, Wong Chuk Hang Road, Entrance via Yip Fat Street (next to Ovolo Hotel), Hong Kong

Photos courtesy to the artist and Axel Vervoordt Gallery

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