Past Exhibition

Landscape as Metaphor: Contemporary Voices

27 Feb - 27 Apr  |  2024
Choi, BouieChu ChuLam Tung PangWang, KellyYang Yongliang
Alisan Fine Arts is pleased to present Landscape as Metaphor: Contemporary Voices, featuring a selection of works by contemporary artists Bouie Choi, Chu Chu, Lam Tung Pang, Kelly Wang and Yang Yongliang, who each showcase unique and distinctive interpretations of landscapes. On view in conjunction with Asia Week New York and a solo exhibition of works by Lui Shou-Kwan, Landscape as Metaphor: Contemporary Voices will be on view from February 27 to April 27, 2024, at Alisan Fine Arts’ recently opened New York gallery.

Bouie Choi, Lam Tung Pang, and Kelly Wang are multidisciplinary artists whose choice of material is integral to their works. Choi and Lam both work on wood panels, but their artistic processes differ greatly. Choi uses reclaimed wood, sometimes exposing it to natural elements before treating it, and allowing inconsistencies and unexpected textures in the wood to inform her compositions. Using imagery derived from her daily experiences, she depicts the urban landscape of Hong Kong and references recent events such as the protests and social unrest of the last decade.

Alternatively, Lam Tung Pang is best known for his charcoal on plywood works, often immense in size, evidenced by the major 15-meter work in the collection of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, as well as the 8-ft landscape currently on view at the China Institute in New York. He treats landscape as a conceptual entity; a vehicle by which he can visually convey his personal experiences, thoughts and dreams. Following his recent move to Vancouver from Hong Kong, his recent works are influenced by the new landscapes that he is experiencing, both physically and psychologically.

Kelly Wang, born and raised in the US, trained in traditional Chinese painting from a young age. Similar to the lotus works in Lui Shou-Kwan’s Zen paintings, Wang’s two Red Lotus works hover on the edge of abstraction. The inspiration for these works, however, reaches further back in time, to Bada Shanren’s hand scroll Flowers on the River. Her use of resin suspends pigment above the paper, causing the pigment to float across the surface, frozen in space. Wang’s landscapes are borne of intimate reflections on her relationships or moments of crisis. For example, Microcosm 2 is from a series that grew out of personal grief. It is a semi-sculptural work created using newspapers from the week of her father’s passing during the Covid-19 pandemic. Wang confronts her mourning by constructing a poignant, serene landscape that recalls a traditional scholar’s rock.

Yang Yongliang and Chu Chu both employ photography in their work but with contrasting results. Yang Yongliang creates fictional landscapes in a traditional Chinese style using recomposed photographs of contemporary urban images. His mountain-scapes are created using meticulously constructed digital images of skyscrapers and building sites that only become apparent upon close inspection. His recent work creates a foreground that incorporates images of wild animals, in stark contrast to the encroaching urban backdrop.

Chu Chu uses photography as a canvas for her flowing, effervescent calligraphy. Sometimes her characters are written in the shadows of the photograph’s subject, and at other times they boldly move across the entire image. Her recent works are more expansive, in particular her Cities series, where the underlying photographs are of distant cityscapes, and her calligraphy, inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, fills the sky above.

While connected through observations of landscapes, spaces and cities, the works in this exhibition span a wide variety of mediums and each artist goes beyond physical observation to reveal deeply personal experiences and parts of their own identities.

Alisan Fine Arts will host an official opening event on March 14, 2024, as part of Asia Week New York, which runs from March 14 to 22, 2024