HONG KONG.- In November 2013, Mur Nomade invited Beijing-based French painter Sébastien Mahon and Hong Kong artist Sarah Lai to start a six-month conversation, sharing their sensations and thoughts about their creative processes and artworks. To deepen the artistic and cultural exchange, Sarah Lai received a travel grant to travel to France and conduct research on the winter light. Radiance is the materialization of this artistic collaboration.
The choice of the exhibition space participates to the dialogue and echoes the radiance of the artworks. It is set on the top floor of The Pulse, a mall stretching along Repulse Bay beach. Scheduled to open soon but still empty and raw, the venue provides a unique exhibition space facing the sea and capturing its glimmering reflection of light.
Poetry readings and contemporary dance performances will be held at the venue during the exhibition period.
Curatorial statement (excerpts)
Golden and sparkly winter light for Lai; complex, warm and delusive for Mahon: the two artists are both fascinated with light as it reveals the inexhaustible depths of the appearance of things. Previously, they both painted the unfathomable surface of the water, be it pool or sea, with its golden reflections, dark shadows or plain flat cover. Flirting with the invisible, they play games at the borders of reality, transposing the process of seeing into a kind of parallel system where the invisible becomes visible and where the visible has disappeared.
For this exhibition, they started a dialogue six months ago, sharing their sensations and thoughts about their creative process and artworks. From still life to landscape, they explored how light shapes reality and how it actually alters or moulds our perception of the sensible world.
Radiance refers, then, to the sunlight that shines from their paintings. It is also a metaphor for the revelations induced by the act of painting as a means of conveying the artists inner landscapes, and their vision of the world.
The space, vast, simple and open, reflects the visions of the two painters. The rawness of the floor and walls suggests their simplicity and enhances the artworks for themselves. Far from the busy city, between sky and earth, mountain and ocean, it offers a shelter where to make a break and reconsider our relationship to the real. Caroline Ha Thuc, April 2014
Born in 1983, Sarah Lai lives and works in Hong Kong. She obtained her BA in Fine Arts from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2007. She was a finalist of the 2010 Sovereign Asian Art Prize. Her solo exhibitions include Spotting the light onto a light , Gallery EXIT (Hong Kong, 2013), ART TAIPEI (Taipei, 2013), Safety Island, Gallery EXIT (Hong Kong, 2011), ART HK 10 (Hong Kong, 2010). Sarah Lais works are collected internationally.
The subjects of Sarah Lais paintings include highly familiar, mundane objects such as a desk lamp, a steam rack, or a glass of water. Isolated from their ordinary context and deprived of indications of their utilitarian function, these relics of our commodity culture take on a surprising aura, reaching a certain degree of abstraction and beauty.