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Duddel's London opens its inaugural group art exhibition
Suki Chan, When I Go Home The Day Becomes My Night, 2011. Blue neon. Part of ‘Doubting Thomas’, 25 April – 24 September 2018. Courtesy of Duddell's London.

LONDON.- An exhibition of newly commissioned and existing work by internationally renowned artists has gone on show at the acclaimed and recently opened Duddell’s in London as part of a new art programme of curated exhibitions and special art events.

Having achieved critical acclaim from respected food critics in its opening months, Duddell’s London has now launched its art programme which is supported by Perrier-Jout as Principal Art Patron. Much like its Hong Kong counterpart, the Co-founders of Duddell’s would like the first UK outpost to become a cultural and social destination as well as a meeting point for those passionate about food and the arts.

Curated by independent curator Ying Kwok, the first exhibition, Doubting Thomas, launched on Wednesday 25th April and includes works by Jonathan Baldock, Suki Chan, Gordon Cheung, Aoife Collins, Gayle Chong Kwan and Tang Kwok-hin which are being showcased throughout the restaurant. The artists have been carefully chosen because of a common use of spiritual elements in their work, and each was asked to respond to the story of Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus in the New Testament, who refused to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The exhibition has been inspired by the religious and historical setting in which Duddell’s is housed; the former St Thomas’ Church in London Bridge, an active church until 1899 and which to this day retains many of the original features of the Grade II-listed building.

Renowned contemporary artist Gordon Cheung presents a new work created using a sorting algorithm to re-order the pixels of two images. Photographs of oil paintings of Jesus in the Rijksmuseum and photographs of Chinese acrobats from the Hundred Flowers Campaign in the 1950s are juxtaposed to blur the timelines between what appears to be two distinct histories.

Hong Kong-based artist Tang Kwok-hin presents two new video works focusing on the Bible story of Thomas’ finger which, according to the book of John, Thomas used to testify the truth. Mixing clips from classical paintings with new footage from daily life, he has blurred the boundaries between art and living. Tang Kwok-hin often re-appropriates and reconstructs daily and personal contexts to narrate hidden stories in life.

Multidisciplinary artist Aoife Collins presents a series of sculptures made from artificial flowers that have been deconstructed and then reassembled. Her work focuses on transformations, similar to the space of Duddell’s itself, which has moved from a place of worship to a place of social gatherings.

London-based multidisciplinary artist Gayle Chong Kwan has created site-specific works in the forms of re-imagined religious chasse which reference the historic ‘Herb Garret’ apothecary that was used when the old operating theatre was located in the Church’s attic.

British multidisciplinary artist Jonathan Baldock presents a series of large sculptural works that augment the original scale of objects that can be seen within the church. Candle is a new sculpture created specifically for Duddell’s.

London-based artist and filmmaker Suki Chan has created a large-scale neon installation inspired by Charles Dickens’ essay Night Walks, exploring people’s relationship to the nocturnal city. The quote "When I go home the day becomes my night" is from a conversation between the artist and a Nigerian security guard who once worked in a sixties office block close to Duddell’s which has now been demolished.

Axelle de Buffevent, Global Style Director Perrier-Jout : “Perrier-Jout have been supporters of Duddell’s in Hong Kong and have followed their art programme with a keen eye. It is with great pleasure we can support Duddell’s London’s art programme and help continue to reinterpret the Maison's historic links with art through bold new ways. We are very excited by the multi-discipline and international mix of talent curated in this first exhibition and are sure the programme will be a great success.”

The original Duddell’s in Hong Kong was founded in Hong Kong in 2013 by entrepreneurs Yenn Wong, Alan Lo and Paulo Pong. It is renowned for its vibrant programme of museum-class exhibitions and eclectic art programme, and has become a creative meeting spot in the heart of the city.

Housed within the historic Grade II-listed St Thomas' Church, Duddell’s represents one of the finest examples of Queen Anne architecture in London. Michaelis Boyd oversaw the restoration of the building, which involved carefully configuring the design to uphold the rich history and heritage of the standing structures, detached from the walls and existing wood panelling to conserve the historic location.

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