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Over the Influence expands Hong Kong space with inaugural exhibition featuring a selection of US-based artists
Nicasio Fernandez, Head Shot, 2020. Ceramic, underglaze, luster, wood, epoxy, faux feathers, 43.2 x 16.8 x 23.5 cm. 17 x 6 5/8 x 9 1/4 in.

HONG KONG.- Over the Influence announced the expansion of the gallery in Hong Kong. Now taking up the lower floor of the current location, the gallery will be further developing ambitious programs with emerging and established artists who constantly challenge the traditional perspectives on art-making.

Julliana Choi, Director of Over the Influence Hong Kong says: “We are pleased to expand the space and have the opportunity to present more exciting programs to our audience. At a time of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty, we wish to demonstrate our commitment to artists and our community, as well as to the art ecosystem of Hong Kong and the region. Our mission to promote interdisciplinary creativity and dialogues remains unwavering.”

The inaugural exhibition of the expanded space, Rise and Shine, will feature a selection of US-based artists. Spanning generations, Over the Influence’s roster is reflective of the dynamism of popular contemporary art today with a heavy influence from movements in the US. The presentation will include new sculptural works by Nicasio Fernandez and Ryan Schneider, alongside paintings by Adam Beris, Jonni Cheatwood, Andy Dixon, Aaron Johnson, LeRoy Neiman and Erik Parker, as well as works by artists Camilla Engstrom, Gosha Levochkin and Josh Reames, who will be showing for the first time with the gallery. The exhibition will run from 3 April to 9 May 2020.

Mainly works on paintings, Nicasio Fernandez’s high key palette and animated aesthetics create a visual connection to the works of Peter Saul Judith Linhares and the Chicago Imagists. His hyper expressive otherworldly figures with unnatural hues of flesh can also been seen on his new sculptural works. Ryan Schneider’s hand-carved wood sculptures are otherwise dreamy and often featuring a spiritually charged quality, portraying moments of bewilderment, tension, exhilaration, and fatigue as they are encountered in the real world.

Often applying paint straight from the tube, Adam Beris’s sculptural materialization of solid colors in repetition and patterns brings forth human impulse of categorization and class systems to differentiate ourselves and our worth. While Andy Dixon, whose works explore themes of decadence, patronage and the relationship between art and wealth, uses common historical tropes to reimagine still-life and odalisque paintings as an agency for desire.

Jonni Cheatwood begins his paintings with direct marks and squiggles which he reacts and builds compositions over time. The graffiti-like scribbles, scratches and primitive colors are the controlled chaotic work of an expressionist. Also playing with the balance between unpredictability and control, abstraction and figuration, painterly blurs and minimalist hard-edges, Aaron Johnson’s paintings look into the fluidity of shapes, forms and colors and the interconnectedness that manifests in between.

Erik Parker’s seemingly visual freestyle works combine elements of contemporary culture into a narrative flow of politics, music, internet memes, hallucinatory dreams, conspiracy theories, and the hieroglyphics of various subcultures. Packed with references, his works exploit today’s familiar feeling of ocular bombardment through a cacophony of visual sources.

Known for blending a Pop art sensibility with fauvist yet expressionistic brushwork, LeRoy Neiman (1921-2012) relentlessly depicted subjects from basketball star turned politician Bill Bradley to sprawling English gardens. His paintings and prints have been featured in magazines and shown internationally. His works are collected by museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., among others.

Swedish artist Camilla Engstrom’s practice encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture, and poetry. She explores autobiographical topics through humor, surrealistic landscapes, and figurative expression. Russian-American painter Gosha Levochkin is best known for his larger scale acrylic works in the tradition of ligne claire. His work represents the harmonious interactions of subjects who, naturally dismissing the bounds of cultural hegemony, are able to overcome and adapt to complicated situations. Josh Reames employs a series of commonly used artist techniques creating object-filled canvases with layers of marks, art historical references, graphics, signs and daily objects. The borderless quality of the paintings reminiscent of the infinite scroll of the online world we are dwelling in now.

Together the works of Rise and Shine form a cheery collection that offers a view of contemporary ideologies in bright hues and refreshing configurations, with an upbeat spirit as a reminder of how we shall live now.

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