For collectors and art enthusiasts, nothing beats a good art fair. The Asia Contemporary Art Show is back for its 11th edition from the 22 to 24 September, and we sat down with three of the exhibiting artists to get an insight into what they’re showing this season.
“In times of tension, uncertainty and loss of values, it’s important to focus on reality.”
German artist Jochen Cerny’s medium of choice is photography, and he applies post-production techniques like blur, PixSort and colour manipulation to his work. “My art isn’t abstract in the sense of the real meaning of the word – photography can’t disengage from the object; in this sense, abstraction for me means my distance to the object. For example, my piece Endless Feast reflects the close interweaving of aspects of content and form. It shows the variety of individual living designs within one picture. The story that each picture tells gives way to our perception of structures and colours. According to my hypothesis, ‘Reality can be seen when viewed from different levels’; I would like to exhibit to each spectator an abundance of precisely captured details, all of which are uncannily in focus, forming one whole.”
The Asia Contemporary Art Show is Jochen’s first time exhibiting in Asia; so, what is he expecting? “While I’ve already attracted a considerable audience in Europe, so I will get to experience how my photographs are perceived in Asia. At the show, I plan to display a variety of my most acknowledged artefacts. You’ll see a selection of ‘abstract’ motifs as well as shots representing my multicultural life story in various places around the world.”
“Is it possible for a local expression to offer common ground to everyone in the world?”
53-year-old Japanese artist Tomoo Seki highlights the beauty of the Japanese landscape through his works using oils, natural mineral pigments, and watercolour on canvas and paper. The two series he is showing at the Asia Contemporary Art Show are the perfect example of this fascination with nature. “I’m including both my ‘Real/Red’ and ‘Blue-and-White (SEIKA)’ series, where the red, blue and gold colours are a synergy of East and West. In Real/Red, I’ve used an overhead projector indoors to paint flowers and blossoms as motifs representing Japan. The drawings in Blue-and-White, meanwhile, were created directly in front of the actual landscape; for this series, I used natural azurite because I wanted to realise through my artwork the blue colour created by cobalt oxide in Chinese porcelain that I greatly admire.”
Seki’s works are a nod to more traditional craftwork and styles, but with a modern take and a Western influence. “A recent shift in my Real/Red series is the inclusion of round-shaped perforations on coloured surfaces; these perforations reveal an inversion of lightness that takes into consideration the ‘lightness’ between surfaces found in early Cubism. In Blue-and-White, gold leaf has been applied to the matte framing of the drawings in a manner found in the panelled paintings of the 16th century Momoyama Era. I want to express the splendour of that era’s aesthetic through the combination of blue and gold, and bring back this decorative role to contemporary space as well.”
Rafael Lanfranco Gallofre
“Everything is a source of inspiration, filtered through the personal and subjective experience of the artist.”
Peruvian Rafael Lanfranco Gallofre presents a playful yet personal reinterpretation of Andean culture and mythology in his work; he’s also influenced by pop art, pop culture and Asian aesthetics. “I don’t believe that’s been done before,” he says, “or at least in the way, I am doing it. Humour is also very present; it’s a mechanism, which I believe eases the connection of the art with the audience. It lowers your guard, and allows the work to invade you.”
Working in multiple media, such as sculpture, digital prints, painting and installations, Rafael plans to bring several sculptures to the Asia Contemporary Art Show this year. “My medium-size resin sculptures are between 16cm and 40cm in height and are inspired by Andean mythology and Japanese kawaii (the aesthetics of cuteness); they’re available as limited editions and also unique pieces. I’m also bringing paintings and limited edition prints that expand on the world of the characters I’ve created. I’m particularly excited about my ‘storyteller’ collections, which are characters in resin, completely covered with POSCA pen art, with a resin finish. The drawings express the strong contradictions between chaos and order in human culture and experience.”
When asked what he hopes people will take away from his work, Rafael says, “A smile would be great – and curiosity. It’s always interesting to show work in Asia, because what I do is inspired by Japanese pop aesthetics, but from an Andean and Latin-American point of view. I’m familiar with how Peruvians and tourists who visit Peru react to my work, but it always amazes and surprises me how ‘the other side of the Pacific’ connects to it. It’s usually a positive response, and what I hope is that through it they find strong similarities between our civilisations, sparking their curiosity and encouraging them to research more of these links.”
The Asia Contemporary Art Show – Fall 2017 Edition will be held on the 40/F – 43/F of the Conrad Hong Kong from 22 – 24 September. Tickets are available at asiacontemporaryart.com
This article first appeared in the August/September 2017 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.
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