Gallery: Axel Vervoordt Gallery
Artist(s): Angel Vergara
Opening / Event Date: 18 Nov, 2023
Closing / End Date: 16 Mar, 2024
WOAW Gallery Presents Vibrant Escape: An Ode to Summer Exhibition Period: July 20 – August 19, 2023
Venue: G07, The Galleria, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
WOAW Gallery is thrilled to present Vibrant Escape: An Ode to Summer, a group exhibition of sixteen artworks by eight multigenerational artists from around the world, including Imon Boy, Deborah Brown, Isabella K. Cancino, Alli Conrad, Marcela Flórido, Kurt Lightner, Charlie Roberts, and Kristian Touborg. The exhibition will be on view from July 20 to August 19, 2023 at the gallery’s Central location.
One of those July days where wind has fled, the vibrant city welcomes a scorching summer heat into its streets. Drawing inspiration from the bold palette of the season’s nature scene and the sense of openness it connotes, the exhibition embarks a visual conversation between artists in different cities bringing fresh perspectives in visual arts and design and allowing creative minds to connect and inspire one another. Showcased within one space, each artist presents their own definition and visualisation of the season summer, conveying one’s message as their ode to summer. This group exhibition invites viewers to experience the artworks individually and as a whole, sparking conversations with personal impressions of this shared summer in the year 2023.
Imon Boy’s artistic journey started on the streets with graffiti, and his art is a reflection to his life experiences. He draws inspiration from a wide range of sources, including video games, the internet, cinema, music, and his travels. Each of Imon Boy’s works is a unique fragment of his personal diary, a testament to the power of painting to unite disparate elements into a cohesive whole. With a self-referential approach to his craft, Imon Boy infuses his art with the essence of his being, creating pieces that are at once deeply personal and universally resonant.
Deborah Brown’s recent paintings draws inspiration from the bustling streets of New York City. With a keen eye for detail, Brown captures the essence of everyday scenes, from the vibrant fish stalls of Chinatown to the ubiquitous dog walkers. Bold hues and striking interplays of light and shadow imbue the compositions with a dynamic energy, inviting viewers to engage with the subject matter. Through lively brushstrokes and a flickering montage of information, Brown animates the scenes with silhouetted figures, evoking the spirit of the urban “flaneur”. Brown’s work reveals the ever-changing and ephemeral presence of these communities with respect and wonder, honoring their place in the fabric of the city.
Inspired by classic literature, history and architecture, Isabella K. Cancino creates a body of work that she hopes to connect with a wide range of viewers, including both children and adults. Through her use of multiple characters, she weaves together a continuous story that explores universal themes of human experience, emotions, and curiosity. The usage of graphite provides a sense of depth with simplicity, enhancing the emotional compact in her work along with the lonely theme and narratives.
Specializing in figurative surreal oil paintings, Alli Conrad’s work actively explores historic eras in the form of paintings through the lens of modern society. Femininity and culture play as key themes across her works through absent features as well as blank and void human-like figures that have been formed by her own imagination, experiences, and long periods of reflection-resulting in the contemporary timeless notion that all that any of us want is to be “seen”. The faceless characters and snippets of human forms in her work offer endless possibilities for narratives, inviting viewers to write their own language on an empty page.
Marcela Flórido’s work reclaims the female form through self portraits. Steeped in memories, place and identity, her figures are always female – hybrids of herself and the women in her life. Her process begins by directly drawing onto canvas, often in freestyle. As her memories combine, Flórido obsessively repaints the oil on canvas, constantly redefining the composition. Colours are inventive, intuitive, and applied directly through trial and error. Inspired by artists like Beatriz González, Luchita Hurtado, and Terezinha, she questions “how we inhabit or imagine identity, and place, in our constant redefinition of home.”
Kurt Lightner is a painter and sculpture whose studio practice is one that examines his family’s history with farming in the Midwest, particularly as it relates to concepts of work and self-worth. With landscape-based visuals, he conveys the importance of his ancestral environment and the significance of generational knowledge. In this series of work, Lightner explores the land of the season, continuing to discuss the meaning in rural life and respect in our environment.
Charlie Roberts’ paintings are a captivating exploration of fantasy film stills, with each piece offering a unique narrative inspired by his imagination and fragments of memories from various life events. His art is a beautiful amalgamation of personal experiences, pop- culture references, and vivid imagination, which he brings to life through his exceptional skill and artistic vision. Roberts’ paintings are characterised by their exceptional attention to detail and imaginative characters, which provide a narrative that can be interpreted in an open-ended manner by viewers based on what they see in the paintings. This open- endedness also allows viewers to make up their own stories, making the artworks an interactive and engaging experience for all.
Kristian Touborg has epitomized a new kind of subjectivity in painting, pairing intimacy and playfulness with art historical references and new technologies. His works are anchored in the dreamy and seductive authenticity that only materials processed by the human hand can hold. In demonstrating a profound interest in new media and technology, Touborg creates imagined archaeological items from a near-future society. In his practice, he takes a firm stand for the analogue in a world which is overly saturated with digital imagery. Hovering between subtle, often abstract references to the figure and detailed portrayal, the paintings give voice to a personal narrative where private components and dreamlike sensations coalesce.