Gallery: Pékin Fine Arts
Artist(s): Phénix Varbanov
Opening / Event Date: 28 Jul, 2023
Closing / End Date: 30 Sep, 2023
We live in the age of social media where our cultural fascination with self-portraiture, commonly known as “selﬁes”, has become our main form of self-documentation. And with the increasing use of facial recognition in our everyday lives, the human face has been reduced to lifeless images, tools of convenience and a collection of biometric data. The group exhibition FACE ID will go beyond skin deep and unlock the complexity of the human identity by putting a new spin on portraiture. From the traditional to the avant-garde, the exhibition features works by eight contemporary artists Arashi M, Erina Matsui, Fujikawa Saki, Kazy Chan, Lu Gao, Marius Seidlitz, Shintaro Inoue and Teddy Leung.
Teddy Leung’s series of surrealist portraits immortalises his inner turmoil of longing for a passed loved one and his long distance lover all whilst trying to ﬁnd a sense of belonging in the ﬁckle city of Hong Kong. His specially curated installation will be a literal presentation of a long distance call featuring the artist’s rich blue self portrait framed by the telephone cord and interactive handset. Paired alongside the installation is a blue light corner where viewers can recreate the artist’s self-portrait by facing their true selves in the mirror and confront their own feelings of longing.
Shintaro Inoue’s compellingly individualistic presentations of female ﬁgures, composed of carefully arranged clean lines and bold combinations of luminous pigments, accentuate the individuality of each ﬁgure in his portraits. Beyond that, his portraits demonstrate how the Japanese calligraphy skills he cultivated since childhood have transformed into his current artistic style.
Marius Seidlitz challenges the unattainable standards of beauty perpetuated by social media through a series of diverse women’s bodies that are deliberately “imperfect”. His intricate representations of women’s entangled bodies with hints at limbs and nudity that are always dynamic and never too accurate epitomise the phrase, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Lu Gao’s emotionally engaging and thought-provoking portraits capture the essence of each child’s personality through their facial expression, provoking viewers to reﬂect upon the innocent and carefree nature of children. As they have yet to learn to hide their emotions or put on a facade, their incredibly revealing and genuine expression injects fresh new energy into the art of portraiture.
Kazy Chan’s whimsical paintings create a dialogue around abstract concepts and emotions through universally recognised visual representations, such as a slot machine that generates endless opportunities. His paintings offer viewers a safe space for quiet introspection regarding the public and private faces they present to the world.
Fujikawa Saki’s striking self-portraits exemplify modern portrait artists’ freedom to express their concerns and interests about human conditions through vivid colours and passionate brushstrokes. The presented works stay true to her artistic oeuvre as her creative process continues to be an endless response to the happenings around her.
Erina Matsui challenges the traditional meaning of portraits by using ﬁctional characters such as little animals and odd creatures instead of the human face as a means of revealing her true self to the viewer. Although her paintings of surreal scenes also include self-portraits in imaginary and distorted dimensions, the ﬁctional creatures provide viewers with a more well-rounded understanding of Erina Matsui’s identity.
Arashi M’s paintings of women during the early Shōwa period (1926-1945) in Japan bring viewers back to a time when human relationships had yet to be disrupted by technology. The central theme of his portraits is no longer the identity of the female ﬁgures like traditional portraiture but the history they carry with them.
From capturing the physical likeness of their subjects to using abstract and symbolic techniques to convey their message, the group exhibition FACE ID on view in our Hong Kong gallery space features a wide range of faces created by artists from all walks of life, creating a vibrant and dynamic display of human expression aimed to captivate and inspire those around us.