Something behind... is a two-man exhibition featuring the works by Damon Tong and Shek Chun Yin, two former administrators of White Tube, an artspace in the Hong Kong Arts Center, between 2005 and 2008. Both holders of a Bachelor of Arts from the Hong Kong Art School (co-presented with RMIT). Damon and Shek also attended the same painting class during their studies. While Shek has since shifted his focus to mixed-media installation, Damon has kept on working on his colour palettes.
Featuring materials such as wood, metal and ceramics, Shek's work uses organic form and displays a natural tone, showing a keen eye on his surroundings. For all its tactful and delicate approach to materials, his works look like a silent remonstrance to the outside world. "The nature looks quietly at the foolishness of men,” he once said. Playing with bright colours on daily objects like T-shirts, tables and chairs, Damon's paintings are snapshots of his personal biography. There is no nostalgia in his works; rather, they are an attempt to capture the moment when things end. "I always try to hide something up in my paintings," said Damon, "something that happened to me and left their traces here with me."
Framing such different styles in White Tube was deliberately pursued as a curatorial experiment, its confining space forcing and forging relationships above and beyond the artists' original intentions – an implicit competition emerges, one which enriches as much as challenges the integrity of the work on display. White Tube’s long and narrow corridor, moreover, limits the way the works could be exhibited, making it look like a space in preparation. An interesting bond is finally found between the two artists, a bond that may or may not have to do with their strikingly parallel biographies. However disparate their manifestations they both share a sense of inwardness and introspection.
Something behind... is an exploration of the intimacy that has grown within the confines of this space despite the artists’ resistance to it.
Something behind… is an event of October Contemporary 2009.
The exhibition will run from 24 Sept – 1 Nov 2009 at White Tube, 10/F, Hong Kong Arts Center, 2 Harbour Road, Wanchai. (Exhibition reception on Oct 7, 6-9pm)