Gallery: Alisan Fine Arts (Central)
Artist(s): Wang Mengsha
Opening / Event Date: 13 Dec, 2023
Closing / End Date: 16 Mar, 2024
JPS Gallery is pleased to present Embrace, a solo exhibition of Japanese artist Reina, on view at the gallery’s Hong Kong location. Following her previous exhibition Mythology at the gallery’s location in Tokyo earlier this year, Reina continues to explore the theme of mythologies and references a complex range of historic iconographies to comment upon the current relationship between humans and nature. In this presented series of paintings, Reina expands her artistic practice by introducing new characters to the viewers and experimenting with the possibilities of painting on stones.
Based on her extensive research on mythology and folklore, Reina introduces the audience to ﬁve new characters who each play an essential role in helping her to illustrate the importance of rebuilding the relationship between humans and the natural world. These characters are: ‘Earthmom,’ the mother of Earth; ‘Suntos,’ a spiritual animal that presides over the sun; ‘Atomos,’ a spiritual beast that governs the atmosphere; ‘Dreamrock,’ a pure soul in a stone-like form; and ‘Mee,’ what ‘Dreamrock’ will become when it takes on a human form. ‘Earthmom’ was once featured in her previous works as Earth’s mother who watched over nature and all living creatures.
Its essence is love, embrace and giving. ‘Mee’ represents the human beings who received many blessings from ‘Earthmom’. The act of receiving these blessings is portrayed as embracing, loving and giving. Therefore Reina often depicts the characters embracing each other to express how the giving and receiving relationship between humanity and all beings are inextricably linked. Through an Embrace, viewers are encouraged to think about the ramiﬁcations of humanity’s arrogant and exploitative attitude towards nature.
Another highlight of this exhibition is a special series of works that involves a canvas work paired with a stone that has Reina’s ‘Dreamrock’ character painted upon it. Reina’s command of colours, composition and presentation of the ‘Dreamrock’ on each canvas and stone set is uniquely different. By presenting ‘Dreamrock’ on both a two-dimensional canvas and a three-dimensional stone, Reina encourages the viewers to engage with her characters in a non-traditional viewing experience. The inclusion of a natural element also echoes the philosophy of this presented exhibition and symbolises the artist’s desire to ignite a conversation on the underlying principle of the natural order.
In the present day, we seem to have forgotten how to live in harmony with nature. Reina’s canvases tell compelling stories fused with ancient allegory and wisdom, one that people nowadays seem to have forgotten. Reina applies the lessons from mythologies to modern-day life by re-enacting these stories of old in a contemporary light, hoping to encourage viewers to rebuild their relationship with nature by receiving all the blessings that nature has to offer with humility and gratitude.
With an interest in mythology and folklore, Reina draws inspiration from the tales and fables from around the world. She reï¬‚ects on the modern attitude toward nature and transfers the morals of the stories onto her canvases.
Reina believes that one could have a deeper connection with nature through studying mythology and folklore. Through her work, she hopes to re-establish the bond between people and nature as well as remind us to respect the environment. In her Dreamtime and Brand New Day series, she retells Aboriginal and Siberian folk stories to criticise the modern-day violent attitude towards nature while emphasising the interconnected relationship between humans and the environment.
Born in Toyama, Japan, Reina attended the University of Toyama from 2011 to 2013, earning a degree in Plastic Arts and a graduate degree in Art and Design. Her works have been exhibited in numerous museums and institutions across Japan, including Hamasaki Museum of Contemporary Art, Osaka; Furusato Museum of Art, Toyama; Tsukuba Museum of Art, Tokyo; Art Complex Centre, Tokyo and O Museum, Tokyo, to name a few