Fear, anxiety, confusion – these everyday emotions stirred by the current circumstances have brought three Hong Kong artists, Ivy MA, HO Sin Tung, and MAN Mei To, together for their first joint exhibition.
The group exhibition “The Spaces Between the Words Are Almost Infinite”, presented by Gallery EXIT, opens from 5 September to 10 October 2020. The artists showcase new works in forms of drawings, sculptures, videos that are inspired by borrowed and fragmented materials from various film sources. These works have channeled sentiments of fear and pain abstractly and poetically.
Ivy MA amplifies in the drawing series “Nosferatu, New Women and Vertigo” the emotions and imagery extracted from classic films, reconstructing the movies with new looks and meanings. The selected scenes were magnified, copied, and disassembled, with the surfaces patched with notches and gold foil. “Five Stars” are five folded five-pointed stars made of gold, resembling the presence of the national flag. Embedded in the gallery wall, the golden stars are in a dynamic form yet trapped in complete stillness. “Sand Dune” is a set of two images appropriated from existing images of government officials in a formal setup. MA cropped and immersed the images in an ashen tone, allowing the audience to interpret the news imagery from another perspective. In “Seven Objects”, MA addresses in the large scale drawing her distress of encountering the violent banging sound of police batons on the street. The black batons were enlarged to human size on paper as an act of confrontation throughout the painting process. In contrary to the stern and ruthlessness of a baton, the scattered scraps of puffcorn in “Be Good” is fragmented and weightless. The new works of MA are minimal in form and yet meticulously expressed with a juxtaposition between a sense of weight and lightness.
Inspired by Robert Bresson’s film with the same title, MAN Mei To explores in “Pickpocket” the theme of loss and gain. The sculpture replicates the arms of a pocket-picker, in which they have been merged and sprouted from the same base. Its form depicts the hand movement during the act of stealing – the action of pulling out and inserting the hand with the stolen goods back into the pocket. Her other set of works “Crime Scene – Leg” and “Who is Murderer” were both inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Frenzy”. “Crime Scene – Leg” is a sculptural piece that captures the film’s surreal scene of a human leg suddenly appearing at the food market, which immediately transforms the scene of ordinary life into a crime scene. “Who is Murderer” is a series of five photography works of body parts drifting along tranquil waves, evoking a sense of liberation. Additionally, MAN has been incorporating elements of amputated stumps and pathological illness in her works since the 2018 group exhibition “Zoo as Metaphor 2” at The Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences. She employs sensual bodily experience in films and photographic imagery, a medium often perceived as flat and two-dimensional. The large swaying tree in her work “Exit” opens a new gateway from the exhibition space. The tree also echoes with her solo exhibition “Sediment and Undercurrent” in 2019.
HO Sin Tung addresses in her works the sentiment of waiting and longing. “Music To Cut Wrist To” and “Tomorrow Never Came” are works on paper transformed into a drawing of sheet music from a piece of music she repeatedly listened to during the time of waiting. The familiar discourse is conveyed into alien symbols, suppressed into resonant silence. “There Is no Magic” depicts the scene of a woman being dissected and abandoned by a magician on site. Both “Time Is His Toy” and “Patient” are paper works inspired by a scene from Billy Wilder’s film “Witness for the Prosecution”. It is a sequence of stacked pills, implying the passage of time. Pills symbolize the law of time, small yet deadly. “Full Dark, No Stars” is a three-channel video installation with scenes of gleaming light in darkness from various film sources, which is mixed with the artist’s footages of laser-pointed beams that her sight leads during sleepless nights. Meanwhile, the artist anticipates in the dark for messages to flash on the mobile screen. Much like the meditative screensaver imagery, the dots and lines of the green light glows luminously.
展覽在沒有明確策展框架底下讓藝術家自由生成作品，喃喃自語到末了卻是氣息相近。展覽名稱“The Spaces Between the Words Are Almost Infinite”本為史派克鍾斯電影《觸不到的她》中的電影對白，當承載著大量訊息和情緒的字詞之間的間距被無限拉長，藝術家就在那個空無的地方寫下她們的註腳
The exhibited artworks were created without the restraint of a curatorial framework, yet the completed works come together synchronized. The exhibition title, “The Spaces Between the Words Are Almost Infinite” is a quote from Spike Jonze’s “Her”. It describes the ever-expanding textual space that is loaded with information and emotions. The artists thereafter fill in between with footnotes of their own.
“The Spaces Between the Words Are Almost Infinite”
Date: 2020.9.5 –10.10
Time: Tuesday to Saturday, 11:00 –18:00
3/F, 25 Hing Wo Street, Tin Wan, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Courtesy of Gallery EXIT and the Artists